Current Psychology

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 803–815 | Cite as

Acculturative Stress Among International Students in Context of Socio-Demographic Variables and Coping Styles

  • Mubeen AkhtarEmail author
  • Birgit Kröner-Herwig


The current study investigated how different socio-demographic variables and coping styles are associated with the level of acculturative stress among international students in Germany. Participants consisted of 652 international students (53 % female, 47 % male; mean age = 25.77 years, SD = 3.79) who were mainly recruited with the support of offices of student affairs of the universities. Data was collected through an online survey comprised of Acculturative Stress Scale for International Students (ASSIS), Problem-focused Styles of Coping (PF-SOC), and a socio-demographic questionnaire. Multiple regression analysis found age, continent of origin, German language proficiency, time spent in Germany and prior travelling experience as significant predictors of acculturative stress. Being younger, having high level of self reported German language proficiency, and prior inter-culture travelling experience significantly predicted a low level of acculturative stress. Coming from a home country in Asia, Africa, or Latin America predicted a higher level of acculturative stress as compared to coming from any European country. Among coping styles, suppressive coping and reactive coping were found to predict significantly a high level of acculturative stress among international students. The findings of the current study are useful for student service organizations and offices of student affairs at university campuses to offer special counselling programs for the vulnerable group of students.


Acculturative stress International students Socio-demographic variables Language proficiency Coping styles 



The first author would like to thank Offices of Students Affairs of Universities for their support in data collection. She would also like to thank Dr. York Hagmayer and Dr. Peter Zezula for their assistance in data analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Georg-Elias-Mueller Institute of PsychologyGeorg August UniversityGoettingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of HumanitiesCOMSATS Institute of Information TechnologyChak ShahzadPakistan

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