Predictors of international students' psychosocial adjustment to life in the United States: A systematic review Academic Article uri icon


  • This review systematically examined predictors of psychosocial adjustment of international undergraduate and graduate students in the United States. Sixty-four studies published in peer-reviewed journals between January 1990 and January 2009 were reviewed. Statistically significant predictors of psychosocial adjustment were grouped by adjustment outcome variables (e.g., psychological symptoms and sociocultural adjustment). The methodological quality of each study was examined using an 11-point grading criteria, assessing the employment of theoretical framework, reporting of data's validity and reliability, study design, and analytic techniques, among others.The most frequently reported predictors included stress, social support, English language proficiency, region/country of origin, length of residence in the United States, acculturation, social interaction with Americans, self-efficacy, gender, and personality. The mean methodological score of the reviewed studies was 6.25 (SD= 1.8; maximum possible score = 11). The reviewed studies overcame selected limitations pointed out by Church in a previous review (1982), by employing a wide range of theories, employing longitudinal designs, and comparing among countries/regions of origin. This review also discussed implications for health promotion for international students and directions for future research. 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, J., & Goodson, P.

citation count

  • 261

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Jing||Goodson, Patricia

publication date

  • January 2011