ERIC Number: ED274939
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-May
Reference Count: 0
Cultural Adjustment of International Students in the U.S.: A Reevaluation Using Reformulated Learned Helplessness.
Reinicke, Melinda June
In addition to academic pressures shared with American students, students from other countries studying in the United States have the stress of living in an unfamiliar culture. Common symptoms of culture shock (irritability, loneliness, depression, rigidity) have been identified. Parallel symptoms have been described in the learned helplessness literature. The application of reformulated learned helplessness to cultural adjustment can contribute to the understanding of culture shock. An individual's use of stable/unstable, global/specific, and internal/external attributions can affect his adjustment to a new culture. Several factors associated with cultural adjustment can be examined in light of reformulated learned helplessness. The main characteristic consistently listed as a factor in cultural adjustment is language proficiency. Prior travel experience also appears to mitigate against culture shock in a foreign culture. Another consistent factor related to adjustment in many studies is social interaction. Other studies have found that national origin and perceived discrimination are factors: students in the United States coming from Third World countries have more adjustment problems than do European or Western students. Depression across cultures and locus of control are also possible factors influencing culture shock. While the personal quality of self-concept has been found to have a clear relation to the attributional category of internal/external helplessness, the qualities of flexibility and empathy require further research to determine their relation to causal attributions and cultural adjustment. A review of the research in the areas of learned helplessness and culture shock indicates reformulated learned helplessness might have some applicability cross-culturally. A five-page reference list concludes the document. (NB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Doctor of Psychology Research Paper, Biola University, California.