International and Domestic Graduate Student Satisfaction with Life

Application of the Perfectionism Diathesis-Stress Model


  • Hanna Suh National Institute of Education
  • Jihee Hong Georgia State University
  • Kenneth Rice Georgia State University
  • Victoria Kelly



Emotional Well-Being, Perfectionism, International Graduate Students, Comparative Study


With increasing mental health problems witnessed among students, adequately addressing their well-being is becoming important on college campuses. This study compares international and domestic graduate students in the United States on domains that are relevant to both student groups (perfectionistic personality, academic stress) and how these factors combinedly predict satisfaction with life. With 531 international and 359 domestic graduate students, results found support for perfectionism and academic stress predicting life satisfaction in both groups with notable similarities and differences. For perfectionists in both student groups, the level of academic stress was an important factor that determined satisfaction with life. Interestingly, for international students only, the perfectionism dimension of standards, which has been traditionally considered adaptive, functioned in a maladaptive way. Findings from this study suggest that international and domestic students share similarities and differences that should be noted.

Author Biographies

Hanna Suh, National Institute of Education

Hanna Suh, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Psychology and Child & Human Development Academic Group at the National Institute of Education/Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. In her research, she explores how individuals deal with stress to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives. Research interest topics include perfectionism, mindfulness and positive psychology interventions, and online counseling. Email:

Jihee Hong, Georgia State University

Jihee Hong, M.A., is a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at Georgia State University. Her research interests include exploring role of risk and protective factors (e.g., perfectionism, self-compassion) in predicting mental health outcomes (e.g., suicidal risk factors), and examining psychometric properties of psychological measurements. Email:

Kenneth Rice, Georgia State University

Kenneth G. Rice, PhD, is the Matheny Endowed Chair and Professor in the Department of Counseling & Psychological Services, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Stress, Trauma, and Resilience, at Georgia State University. Much of his research focuses on stress and how personal characteristics (such as perfectionism) moderate the effects of stress on a variety of health, mental health, and academic outcomes. Email:

Victoria Kelly

Victoria A. Kelly is a project manager for Relias LLC and former research assistant for various academic research labs. Her research interests focus on social influences on judgment and decision-making.


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How to Cite

Suh, H., Hong, J., Rice, K., & Kelly, V. . (2021). International and Domestic Graduate Student Satisfaction with Life: Application of the Perfectionism Diathesis-Stress Model. Journal of International Students, 12(1), 216–238.



Research Articles (English)