What Do International Students Need?

The Role of Family and Community Supports for Adjustment, Engagement, and Organizational Citizenship Behavior





adjustment, community support, engagement, family support, international students, organizational citizenship behavior


This study aimed to investigate the relationships between perceived family support and community support and the organizational citizenship behavior of international students in U.S. higher education institutions. It also examined the mediating effects of cross-cultural adjustment and engagement on the relationships. Data were collected from 1,436 international students in one university located in the southwestern United States. Building on previous studies that have used a top-down managerial approach, this study used a noninstitutional/person-based approach to validate two guiding theories (spillover theory and job demands–resources model) and related former empirical studies. The results help stakeholders visualize a holistic picture of the international student experience. Such knowledge enables higher education institutions to make data-driven decisions about how to strategically prioritize resources to assist international students.

Author Biographies

Dae Seok Chai, Colorado State University, USA

DAE SEOK CHAI, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Learning, Performance and Change in the School of Education at Colorado State University. He has three research interests: expatriation effectiveness, organization change and development in an international context, and leadership in diverse cultural contexts.

Huyen Thi Minh Van, Texas A&M University, USA

HUYEN THI MINH VAN is a PhD candidate in Human Resource Development at Texas A& M University. She is also affiliated with Foreign Trade University (Vietnam) as a faculty of business education and marketing. Her research interests cover employee engagement in small and medium businesses, international student engagement, and development of talent and emerging leadership in the profit sector.

Chih-Wei Wang, Texas A & M University, USA

CHIH-WEI WANG is a PhD candidate in the Human Resource Development program at Texas A&M University. She earned her MBA degree in International Business from Yuan Ze University, Chung-Li, Taiwan. Her research interests include coaching, knowledge sharing and international HRD.

Jin Lee, Texas State University, USA

JIN LEE, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Adult, Professional and Community Education at Texas State University. His current research interests are entrepreneurship, leadership and identity development among professionals. His approaches are grounded in sociological perspectives such as social constructionist, symbolic interactionism, and structuralism.

Jia Wang, Texas A&M University, USA

JIA WANG, PhD, is a Professor of Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on international/national and cross-cultural HRD, workplace learning, organizational crisis management, workplace incivility, and career/family issues. Currently, she serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Human Resource Development Review.


Abdullah, D., Abd Aziz, M. I., & Ibrahim, A. L. M. (2013). A “research” into international student-related research: (Re)visualizing our stand? Higher Education, 67, 235–253.

Aldawsari, N., Adams, K., Grimes, L., & Kohn, S. (2018). The effects of cross-cultural competence and social support on international students’ psychological adjustment: Autonomy and environmental mastery. Journal of International Students, 8(2), 901–924.

Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2007). The job demands-resources model: State of the art. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22, 309–328.

Black, J. S. (1988). Work role transitions: A study of American expatriate managers in Japan. Journal of International Business Studies, 19, 277–294.

Black, J. S., & Stephens, G. K. (1989). The influence of the spouse on American expatriate adjustment and interest to stay in Pacific Rim overseas assignments. Journal of Management, 15, 529–574.

Bulgan, G., & Çiftçi, A. (2018). Work-family balance and psychosocial adjustment of married international students. Journal of International Students, 8(2), 1079–1107.

Caligiuri, P. M., Hyland, M. A. M., Joshi, A., & Bross, A. S. (1998). Testing a theoretical model for examining the relationship between family adjustment and expatriates’ work adjustment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 598–614.

Cerdin, J. L., & Selmer, J. (2014). Who is a self-initiated expatriate? Towards conceptual clarity of a common notion. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25, 1281–1301.

Chapdelaine, R. F., & Alexitch, L. R. (2004). Social skills difficulty: Model of culture shock for international graduate students. Journal of College Student Development, 45, 167–184.

Cho, J., & Yu, H. (2015). Roles of university support for international students in the United States: Analysis of a systematic model of university identification, university support, and psychological well-being. Journal of Studies in International Education, 19(1), 11–27.

Coleman, J. S. (1990). Foundations of social theory. Harvard University Press.

Cox, B. E., Reason, R. D., Tobolowsky, B. F., Brower, R. L., Patterson, S., Luczyk, S., & Roberts, K. (2017). Lip service or actionable insights? Linking student experiences to institutional assessment and data-driven decision making in higher education. The Journal of Higher Education, 88(6), 835–862.

Crow, G., & Allan, G. (1994). Community life: An introduction to local social relations. Harvester-Wheatsheaf.

Demerouti, E., Bakker, A. B., Nachreiner, F., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2001). The job demands-resources model of burnout. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 499–512.

Egron-Polak, E. (2012). Internationalization of higher education: A few global trends and regional perspectives. In C. T. Ennew & D. Greenaway (Eds.), The globalization of higher education (pp. 57–69). Palgrave Macmillan.

Froese, F. J., & Peltokorpi, V. (2013). Organizational expatriates and self-initiated expatriates: Differences in cross-cultural adjustment and job satisfaction. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24, 1953–1967.

Green, W. (2019). Engaging students in international education: Rethinking student engagement in a globalized world. Journal of Studies in International Education, 23(1), 3–9.

Gresham, R., & Clayton, V. (2011). Community connections: A programme to enhance domestic and international students’ educational experience. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 33, 363–374.

Herrero, J., & Gracia, E. (2007). Measuring perceived community support: Factorial structure, longitudinal invariance, and predictive validity of the PCSQ (Perceived Community Support Questionnaire). Journal of Community Psychology, 35, 197–217.

Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind (3rd ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Institute of International Education. (2016). International student enrollment trends, 1948/49-2015/16. Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. https://www.iie.org/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors/Data/International-Students/Enrollment-Trends

Jackson, M., Ray, S., & Bybell, D. (2013). International students in the US: Social and psychological adjustment. Journal of International Students, 3, 17–28.

Jindal-Snape, D., & Rienties, B. (2016). Multi-dimensional transitions of international students to higher education. Routledge.

King, L. A., Mattimore, L. K., King, D. W., & Adams, G. A. (1995). Family support inventory for workers: A new measure of perceived social support from family members. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 16, 235–258.

King, R., & Raghuram, P. (2013). International student migration: Mapping the field and new research agenda. Population, Space and Place, 19, 127–137.

Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (3rd ed.). Guilford Press.

Martirosyan, N. M., Bustamante, R. M., & Saxon, D. P. (2019). Academic and social support services for international students: Current practices. Journal of International Students, 9(1), 172–191.

Meriac, J. P. (2012). Work ethic and academic performance: Predicting citizenship and counterproductive behavior. Learning and Individual Differences, 22, 549–553.

Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and family therapy. Harvard University Press.

Myers, S., Goldman, Z., Atkinson, J., Ball, H., Carton, S., Tindage, M., & Anderson, A. (2015). Student civility in the college classroom: Exploring student use and effects of classroom citizenship behavior. Communication Education, 65(1), 1–19.

Nahrgang, J. D., Morgeson, F. P., & Hofmann, D. A. (2011). Safety at work: A meta-analytic investigation of the link between job demands, job resources, burnout, engagement, and safety outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96, 71–94.

Nasurdin, A. M., & O’Driscoll, M. P. (2012). Work overload, parental demand, perceived organizational support, family support, and work-family conflict among New Zealand and Malaysian academics. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 41(1), 38–48.

Ng, E. C. W., Chan, C. C., & Lai, M. K. (2014). Hope and life satisfaction among underprivileged children in Hong Kong: The mediating role of perceived community support. Journal of Community Psychology, 42, 352–364.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2019). Education at a glance 2019: OECD indicators. https://doi.org/10.1787/f8d7880d-en

Organ, D. W., Podsakoff, P. M., & MacKenzie, S. B. (2006). Organizational citizenship behavior: Its nature, antecedents, and consequences. Sage.

Rattrie, L. T. B., & Kittler, M. G. (2014). The job demands-resources model and the international work context-a systematic review. Journal of Global Mobility, 2, 260–279.

Rienties, B., Beausaert, S., Grohnert, T., Niemantsverdriet, S., & Kommers, P. (2012). Understanding academic performance of international students: The role of ethnicity, academic and social integration. Higher Education, 63, 685–700.

Schaufeli, W. B., Salanova, M., Gonzalez-Roma, V., & Bakker, A. B. (2002). The measurement of engagement and burnout: A two sample confirmatory factor analytic approach. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3, 71–92.

Schmitt, N., Oswald, F. L., Friede, A., Imus, A., & Merritt, S. (2008). Perceived fit with an academic environment: Attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 72, 317–335.

Shao, Y., & Crook, C. (2015). The potential of a mobile group blog to support cultural learning among overseas students. Journal of Studies in International Education, 19(5), 399–422.

Takeuchi, R. (2010). A critical review of expatriate adjustment research through a multiple stakeholder view: Progress, emerging trends, and prospects. Journal of Management, 36, 1040–1064.

Takeuchi, R., Tesluk, P., Yun, S., & Lepak, D. (2005). An integrative view of international experience. Academy of Management Journal, 48, 85–100.

Trice, A. G., & Yoo, J. E. (2007). International graduate students’ perceptions of their academic experience. Journal of Research in International Education, 6, 41–66.

Wang, J. (2009). A study of resiliency characteristics in the adjustment of international graduate students at American universities. Journal of Studies in International Education, 13(1), 22–45.

Wang, L., Hinrichs, K. T., Prieto, L., & Howell, J. P. (2013). Five dimensions of organizational citizenship behavior: Comparing antecedents and levels of engagement in China and the US. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 30, 115–147.

Williams, L. J., & Anderson, S. E. (1991). Job satisfaction and organizational commitment as predictors of organizational citizenship and in-role behaviors. Journal of Management, 17, 601–617.

Wu, P., & Ang, S. H. (2011). The impact of expatriate supporting practices and cultural intelligence on cross-cultural adjustment and performance of expatriates in Singapore. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22, 2683–2702.

Yusoff, Y. M. (2012). Self-efficacy, perceived social support, and psychological adjustment in international undergraduate students in a public higher education institution in Malaysia. Journal of Studies in International Education, 16(4), 353–371.




How to Cite

Chai, D. S., Van, H. T. M., Wang, C.-W., Lee, J., & Wang, J. (2020). What Do International Students Need? The Role of Family and Community Supports for Adjustment, Engagement, and Organizational Citizenship Behavior. Journal of International Students, 10(3), 571–589. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v10i3.1235



Research Articles (English)