Essay on International Student Stress

6674 Words Aug 26th, 2011 27 Pages
Academic Stress Among College Students: Comparison of American and International Students
Ranjita Misra and Linda G. Castillo
Texas A&M University

This study compared academic stressors and reactions to stressors between American and international students using Gadzella’s Life Stress Inventory (B. M. Gadzella, 1991). Five categories of academic stressors (i.e., frustrations, conflicts, pressures, changes, and self-imposed) and four categories describing reactions to these stressors (i.e., physiological, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive) were examined. The sample consisted of 392 international and American students from 2 Midwestern universities. American students reported higher self-imposed stressors and greater behavioral
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Students report experiencing academic stress predictably, with the greatest sources of academic stress being found in taking and studying for exams and with respect to grade competition and the large amount of content to master in a small amount of time (Abouserie, 1994; Kohn & Frazer, 1986). Reactions to stressors refer to the state of physical or psychological arousal that usually results from the perception of stress (Thoits, 1995). Students experience physical and psychological reactions to stressors when they perceive excessive or negative stress. Excessive stress induces physical impairments, and it is not uncommon to find students afflicted with persistent lack of energy, loss of appetite, headaches, or gastrointestinal problems (Winkelman, 1994). In addition, some international students may somaticize their feelings of stress to avoid the stigma of seeking psychological assistance (Mori, 2000). For example, international students’ experiences of headaches, loss of appetite, or sleep problems may be attributed


Misra and Castillo

to a physical illness even though the complaints have no clear organic basis (Khoo, Abu-Rasain, & Hornby, 1994; Mori, 2000). Although American students experience stress reactions such as anxiety, depression, or both, many international students do not distinguish emotional

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