Nguyen, Huynh Mai Thi (2015-12). Academic Expectations Stress in Asian American Undergraduate Students - A Revalidation Study. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Asian American college students experience academic stress and expectations from selves and from their parents to achieve academic success. The internalized and externalized expectations are experienced by Asian American college students so much so that there may be an unstated academic competition among themselves and their Asian American peers. The initial study aimed to understand perceived academic expectations using social comparison theory as well as the drive to compete by parental pressure. Two focus groups were conducted and eight themes emerged after analysis of the data was complete. The themes suggest that Asian American college students perceive more academic competition with their Asian American peers in high school as compared to college. Additionally, the students noted that parental sacrifices, feelings of obligations to repay their parents, and financial stability are motivators to achieve academic successes in college and beyond. Perhaps the most important theme that emerged was the internalization of parental expectations, which also serves as a compass for achieving academic success. The second study explored the sources of academic expectations stress that Asian American college students experience by revalidating the Academic Expectations Stress Inventory (AESI) originally developed by Ang and Huan. Results suggested that the two factor structure model of the AESI had good model fit with the Asian American undergraduates sample in this study with the following fit indices: RMSEA=.085; CFI=.95; SRMR=.05. These fit indices were within acceptable range for a good model fit. Univariate results indicated that female Asian American college students experience higher levels of academic expectations stress from themselves. There were no statistically significant differences between U.S. born and non-U.S. Asian American college students in the levels of academic expectations stress perceived in both others (parents/teachers) and self.

publication date

  • December 2015