The Influence of Self-determined Motivation and Goals of International Students to Study Abroad on Subjective Well-Being

The Mediating Role of Psychological Needs Satisfaction and the Moderating Role of Socio-Cultural Adjustment


  • Vimala Venugopal Muthuswamy


self-dermined motivation, psychological needs, international students, higher education


The primary objective of this study was to examine the potential impact of self-determined motivation on the satisfaction of psychological needs and, subsequently, the subjective wellbeing of international students. Additionally, the present study sought to investigate the correlation between students' aspirations to pursue international education and their level of psychological need fulfilment. In addition to this, the study sought to examine the moderating influence of sociocultural adjustment on the relationship between psychological needs satisfaction and subjective wellbeing among international students. In order to accomplish this objective, a combination of convenience sampling and survey methods was employed to select a sample of 267 international students who were enrolled in various universities within Saudi Arabia. The data that was gathered was subjected to analysis using statistical software programmes such as SPSS and AMOS. This analysis aimed to examine both direct and indirect effects, encompassing concepts such as mediation and moderation. The findings of the study indicate a positive correlation between the fulfilment of psychological needs and the subjective well-being of international students enrolled in different universities in Saudi Arabia.


Alhadabi, A., & Karpinski, A. C. (2020). Grit, Self-efficacy, Achievement Orientation Goals, and Academic Performance in University Students. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 25(1), 519-535.

Bastien, G., Seifen-Adkins, T., & Johnson, L. R. (2018). Striving for Success: Academic Adjustment of International Students in the Us. Journal of International Students, 8(2), 1198-1219.

Chang, W.-W., Yuan, Y.-H., & Chuang, Y.-T. (2013). The Relationship Between International Experience and Cross-cultural Adaptability. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37(2), 268-273.

Chatterjee, S., Chaudhuri, R., & Vrontis, D. (2022). Examining the Role of Cross-cultural Factors in the International Market on Customer Engagement and Purchase Intention. Journal of International Management, 28(3), 100966.

Chirkov, V., Vansteenkiste, M., Tao, R., & Lynch, M. (2007). The Role of Self-determined Motivation and Goals for Study Abroad in the Adaptation of International Students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 31(2), 199-222.

Cho, H. J., Levesque-Bristol, C., & Yough, M. (2021). International Students’ Self-determined Motivation, Beliefs About Classroom Assessment, Learning Strategies, and Academic Adjustment in Higher Education. Higher Education, 81(6), 1215-1235.

Fakunle, O. (2021). Developing a Framework for International Students’ Rationales for Studying Abroad, Beyond Economic Factors. Policy Futures in Education, 19(6), 671-690.

Ganotice Jr, F. A., Downing, K., Chan, B., & Yip, L. W. (2022). Motivation, Goals for Study Abroad and Adaptation of Mainland Chinese Students in Hong Kong. Educational Studies, 48(2), 149-164.

Gunnell, K. E., Crocker, P. R., Mack, D. E., Wilson, P. M., & Zumbo, B. D. (2014). Goal Contents, Motivation, Psychological Need Satisfaction, Well-being and Physical Activity: a Test of Self-determination Theory Over 6 Months. Psychology of sport and exercise, 15(1), 19-29.

Guns, A., Richardson, P. W., & Watt, H. M. (2012). How Do Life Goals and Motivations of International Students Studying in Australia Impact Their Achievement Outcomes? In AARE 2012 Conference Proceedings & Program (pp. 1-17). Australian Association for Research in Education (NJ1).




How to Cite

Muthuswamy, V. V. . (2023). The Influence of Self-determined Motivation and Goals of International Students to Study Abroad on Subjective Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Psychological Needs Satisfaction and the Moderating Role of Socio-Cultural Adjustment. Journal of International Students, 13(3), 393–414. Retrieved from