Chinese international students' friendship and its relationship to acculturative stress and well-being

Lina S Budianto, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to expand the literature regarding the relationships between friendship, acculturative stress, and subjective well-being (SWB) among Chinese international students. A structural equation model was developed and examined to help explain the mechanisms that link quality and quantity of friendship, acculturative stress, and SWB. While there is strong evidence for the relationship between friendship and adjustment, there is a paucity of research that examines the impact of friendship on acculturative stress and well-being among international students. In addition, this study aimed to understand how relationships with different group of friends (American, co-ethnic, and long-distance friends) might predict acculturative stress and SWB differentially. The contribution of long-distance friendships to adjustment and well-being is an area that has been largely neglected in the literature, despite the increased accessibility of these kinds of relationships among college students. Participants in the study consisted of 277 undergraduate Chinese international students who were enrolled in universities and colleges across the United States. These students were asked filled out an online survey. The hypotheses of the study stated that a higher level of American, co-ethnic, and long-distance home friendship will predict lower level of acculturative stress and a higher level of SWB. It was further expected that friendships with the different groups would impact acculturative stress level and SWB level differently. The results of the current study revealed that the quality of long-distance friendships positively impacts SWB, while the quality of American friendships negatively impacted the students' SWB and increased their acculturative stress. No significant relationship was found between the quality of co-ethnic friendship, and acculturative stress or SWB. Due to validity concerns with the instrument used to measure friendship quantity, no inferences were made from the friendship quantity variables. The results provided an initial step to better understand the importance of different groups of friendship in helping Chinese international students cope with acculturative stress and increase their well-being. The study also indicated the need for future research about the impact of long-distance friendship on Chinese students' adjustment.

Subject Area

Asian Studies|Counseling Psychology

Recommended Citation

Budianto, Lina S, "Chinese international students' friendship and its relationship to acculturative stress and well-being" (2012). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3499850.