Analyzing International Students' Social Support Through Intercollegiate Sport Team Identification


  • Kibaek Kim Kyung Hee University
  • Sarah Stokowski Clemson University
  • Wen Juo Lo University of Arkansas
  • Jinwook Han Kyung Hee University



International Student, Team Identification, Sense of Community, Social Capital


International students often experience difficulties acclimating to campus climates in the United States. While identifying oneself as a fan of college sports has been shown to assist domestic students in their social adjustment to college environments, little is known about the relationship between international students’ college sports team identification and their social adjustment. As such, the purpose of this study is to determine the effect of team identification on international students’ sense of community and social capital and the conceptual relationship between the sense of community and social capital. Analysis of the hypothesized model with a sample of international students (n = 487) revealed that international students’ team identification develops their sense of community and social capital. Implications focused on how the international student office and athletic departments can utilize intercollegiate sport to support international students and assist this population in adapting to campus life in the United States.

Author Biographies

Kibaek Kim, Kyung Hee University

Kibaek Kim, PhD, is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Physical Education at the Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea. His research interests include diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) through sports, primarily promoting ethnic inclusive community through sports. 

Sarah Stokowski, Clemson University

Sarah Stokowski, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational and Organizational Leadership Development at the Clemson University, United States. Her research interests include college athlete development specializing in the personal development literacies.

Wen Juo Lo, University of Arkansas

Wen Juo Lo, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Educational Statistics and Research Methodology (ESRM) program at the University of Arkansas. His research interests involve methodological issues related to analyses with a focus on psychometric methods. 

Jinwook Han, Kyung Hee University

Jinwook Han, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Physical Education at the Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea. His research interests include sports consumer behavior and organizational behavior in sports.


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How to Cite

Kim, K., Stokowski, S., Lo, W. J., & Han, J. (2022). Analyzing International Students’ Social Support Through Intercollegiate Sport Team Identification. Journal of International Students, 13(1), 59–78.



Research Articles (English)