A group psychological intervention to enhance the coping and acculturation of international students

Smith, Rachel & Khawaja, Nigar (2014) A group psychological intervention to enhance the coping and acculturation of international students. Advances in Mental Health, 12(2), pp. 110-124.

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Abstract

There is a shortage of psychological interventions to aid the acculturation of international students. To address this issue, the present study developed and trialled a brief group psychological intervention, the STAR program: Strengths, Transitions, Adjustments, and Resilience. This program was developed using suggestions from international students and university professional and academic staff that had significant dealings and designated roles to guide support international students. It comprises of four weekly two-hour sessions, and is experiential and cognitive-behavioural in nature. The STAR program aims to enhance coping, which is predicted to subsequently improve psychological adaptation (an acculturation outcome). Sixteen international students participated in the pilot trial of the STAR program. The participants completed measures on coping self-efficacy, social self-efficacy, psychological adaptation, and psychological distress pre-intervention, post-intervention, and one-month follow-up. Results showed that participants’ psychological adaptation and coping self-efficacy significantly increased from pre to post, with the treatment gain maintained at the one-month follow-up for psychological adaptation. Increases in social self-efficacy were evident, but these did not reach significance, possibly due to a lack of power. The STAR program did not have an impact on psychological distress; however, participants were only minimally distressed at the commencement of the program. The qualitative feedback gathered from the participants, provided suggestions for further refinement, as well as information about the clinical utility of the STAR program.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 67909
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: International Student; Psychological intervention; Coping; Acculturation, HERN
ISSN: 1837-4905
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 eContent Management Pty Ltd.
Deposited On: 27 Feb 2014 22:47
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2015 17:34

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