Academic Stressors as Predictors of Achievement Goal Orientations of American and ESL International Students




academic stress, Achievement Goal Orientation, American students, college students, ESL international students, higher education


This study explores academic stressors and achievement goal orientations of college students, and the relationship between these variables using academic stressors as predictors. As the number of English as a Second Language (ESL) international students has increased rapidly in the US, students’ status (American or ESL international) was also examined. A total of 715 students participated in the study from two universities in the US. Results show that ESL international and American students have different achievement goal orientations and academic stressors. Additionally, student status and academic stressors predict college students’ various goal orientations. The implications provide useful suggestions to higher education professionals in order to better understand and assist diverse students to succeed in academia.

Author Biographies

Xi Lin, East Carolina University, USA

XI LIN, PhD, is an assistant professor at the Department of Interdisciplinary Professions at East Carolina University. Her research focuses on online and distance learning as well as game-based learning. She also investigates cross-cultural adaptation and mobility of international students and faculty in the US institutions.

Shu Su, Ball State University, USA

SHU SU, PhD, is an assistant professor at the Department of Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies at Ball State University. Her research takes a multidisciplinary approach towards understanding the role of parenting and peer relationships in the youth social development at different life stage (i.e., childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood).

Alyssa McElwain, University of Wyoming, USA

ALYSSA MCELWAIN, PhD, is an assistant professor at the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Wyoming. Her research focuses on adolescent romantic relationships and sexual behavior. She is also interested in both individual and interpersonal predictors of adolescent outcomes and she uses both basic and applied approaches to understanding these critical aspects of adolescence.


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How to Cite

Lin, X., Su, S., & McElwain, A. (2019). Academic Stressors as Predictors of Achievement Goal Orientations of American and ESL International Students. Journal of International Students, 9(4), 1134–1154.



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