Date of Award

7-7-2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Cheryl J. Serrano

Second Advisor

Cindy L. Skaruppa

Third Advisor

Jack Levin

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to provide research to support a new paradigm of emergent cultural experiences and acceptance which was measured by different levels of acculturative stress. The objective of this study was to identify the present levels of acculturative stress using the dependent variables defined as perceived discrimination, perceived hate, fear, homesickness, stress due to culture shock, and guilt. The independent variables included gender, age, length of time in the United States, graduate or undergraduate, place or residence during college, English proficiency, country of origin/citizenship, and countries previously lived in/visited. This research contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of student perspectives by determining the cultural disparity relationship between the identified independent and dependent variables. The subject population was international students possessing an F-l Visa enrolled at two institutions of higher learning in the state of Florida. The primary assessment instrument was the Acculturative Stress Scale for International Students (ASSIS) developed by Sandhu and Asrabadi (1994). The outcome of this investigation expected to provide research supporting a model of social distances, defined by the three levels of cultural adequation, cultural lingualation, and cultural discordation.

Indeed, every individual does bear the imprint of cultural socialization; and these imprints are vastly different from others with varying degrees of disparity. The study provided support indicating significant statistical evidence for the paradigm of cultural distance defined by three levels of disparity identified as cultural adequation, cultural lingualation, and cultural discordation.

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