International Students in the U.S.: Social and Psychological Adjustment


  • Michelle Jackson Suffolk University, United States
  • Sukanya Ray Suffolk University, United States
  • Danica Bybell Suffolk University, United States



international students, adjustment issues, acculturative stress, social support


In this study, we examined the role of self-esteem, hope, optimism, coping, acculturative stress, and social support on international students’ depressive symptoms and sociocultural adjustment. Seventy international students completed a self-report online survey. The most notable finding was that the international students used adaptive and maladaptive coping techniques at similar rates. Greater use of coping techniques, higher acculturative stress and less social support were associated with more depressive symptoms and more difficulty with sociocultural adjustment. Lower self-esteem, less hope, and less optimism were associated with more depressive symptoms, but not sociocultural difficulty. Clinical implications and future directions are also discussed.

Author Biographies

Michelle Jackson, Suffolk University, United States

Michelle Jackson is a fifth year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Suffolk University, Boston. She is an international student from Trinidad and Tobago. Her research interests include interpersonal violence and community reactions, and the effects of sexual assault on college student and LGBT populations. 

Sukanya Ray, Suffolk University, United States

Dr. Sukanya Ray is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Suffolk University, Boston. She received her Ph.D. at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Her research interests include health issues among immigrants and ethnic minority communities; trauma, resilience, and empowerment; and body image/eating problems.

Danica Bybell, Suffolk University, United States

Danica Bybell graduated from Suffolk University, Boston, with a B.S. in European History, minoring in American Studies, Classics, and Psychology. She currently works with The Freedom Trail Foundation in downtown Boston, and will be applying to graduate school in the next year.




How to Cite

Jackson, M., Ray, S., & Bybell, D. (2013). International Students in the U.S.: Social and Psychological Adjustment. Journal of International Students, 3(1), 17–28.



Research Articles (English)

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