Research in Higher Education

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 607–623 | Cite as

Academic stress of international students attending U.S. universities

  • Teh-yuan Wan
  • David W. Chapman
  • Donald A. Biggs


This study investigated factors associated with the academic stress experienced by international students (N=412) attending graduate school in the United States. The study was grounded in a cognitive framework in which academic stress is understood as the consequence of students' appraisal of the stressfulness of role demands and their perception of their ability to cope with those demands. These two appraisals, in turn, were posited to be a function of cultural distance, students' social support network, and their role competencies. Results indicated that the primary determinants of the two types of appraisals differed. While self-perceived English-language skills and, to a lesser degree, cultural distance were the predictors of primary appraisal, self-perceived English-language, academic, and problem-solving skills and social support network were the main determinants of secondary appraisal. Implications for how universities might work more effectively with international students are discussed.


Social Support Graduate School Education Research International Student Support Network 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teh-yuan Wan
    • 1
  • David W. Chapman
    • 2
  • Donald A. Biggs
    • 2
  1. 1.New York State Education DepartmentUSA
  2. 2.State University of New York at AlbanyAlbany

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