Exploring the Effect of Team Identification on International Students’ Adjustment to Higher Education in the United States
Keywords:intercollegiate athletics, international students, social identity, team identification
International students have been continuously transitioning to U.S. colleges in pursuit of high-quality education and social mobility opportunities. Multiple studies have dealt with the adjustment of international students in their process of transitioning to a new environment. The purpose of our study is to explore if college sports fan identification can contribute to this population’s adjustment process. This study used lived experiences from 10 international graduate students regarding their college sports fan experiences and how that helped them adjust to American colleges. Results showed that answers from international students derived two themes: social and academic adjustments. Social adjustment was specified as a sense of belonging and academic adjustment was specified as finding a way to relax from their academic burden. The results of this study can help both the international student office and athletic departments to utilize college sports to help international students with their adjustment to their new environments.
Allen, J. T., Drane, D. D., Byon, K. K., and Mohn, R. S. (2010). Sport as a vehicle for socialization and maintenance of cultural identity: International students attending US universities. Sport Management Review, 13(4), 421-434. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2010.01.004
Altbach, P. G. (2004). Globalisation and the university: Myths and realities in an unequal world. Tertiary Education and Management, 10(1), 3-25.
Ashmore, R. D., Deaux, K., and McLaughlin-Volpe, T. (2004). An organizing framework for collective identity: articulation and significance of multidimensionality. Psychological bulletin, 130(1), 80. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.130.1.80
Ashforth, B.E., and Mael, F. (1989). Social identity theory and the organization. Academy of Management review, 14(1), 20-39. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.1989.4278999
Baker, R. W., and Siryk, B. (1984a). Measuring adjustment to college. Journal of counseling psychology, 31(2), 179-189. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0184.108.40.206
Baker, R. W., and Siryk, B. (1984b). Measuring academic motivation of matriculating college freshmen. Journal of College Student Personnel. 25(5), 459–464.
Bastien, G., Seifen-Adkins, T., and Johnson, L. R. (2018). Striving for Success: Academic Adjustment of International Students in the U.S. Journal of International Students, 8(2), 1198-1219. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v8i2.143
Boyle, B.A., and Magnusson, P. (2007). Social identity and brand equity formation: A comparative study of collegiate sports fans. Journal of Sport Management, 21, 497-520. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsm.21.4.497
Branscombe, N. R., and Wann, D. L. (1991). The positive social and self-concept consequences of sports team identification. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 15(2), 115-127. https://doi.org/10.1177/019372359101500202
Brewer, M. B. (1979). Ingroup bias in the minimal intergroup situation: A cognitive-motivational analysis. Psychological bulletin, 86(2), 307-324. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.86.2.307
Chin, H. K. K. (2005). Open doors: Report on international educational exchange. New York, NY: Institute of International Education (IIE).
Clopton, A. W. (2007). Predicting A Sense of Community Amongst Students From the Presence of Intercollegiate Athletics: What Roles Do Gender and BCS-Affiliation Play In The Relationship?, The SMART Journal, 4(1), 95-108.
Clopton, A. W. (2008). Southern comfort? Exploring regional differences in the impact of fan identification upon college students’ sense of community. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, 2(1), 9-28. https://doi.org/10.1179/ssa.2008.2.1.249
Clopton, A. W., and Finch, B. L. (2010). Are college students’ bowling alone?’ Examining the contribution of team identification to the social capital of college students. Journal of Sport Behavior, 33(4), 377-402.
Clopton, A. W., and Bourke, B. (2011). Big-time college sport in black and white: Perceptions of the impact of athletics on campus. College Student Affairs Journal, 30(1), 31.
Corbin, J., and Strauss, A. (2015). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications.
Creswell, J. W. (2007). Five qualitative approaches to inquiry. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches, 2, 53-80.
de Araujo, A. A. (2011). Adjustment issues of international students enrolled in US colleges and universities: A review of the literature. Higher Education Studies, 1(1), 2-8.
DeVries, R.E. (2003). Self, ingroup, and outgroup evaluation: Bond or breach? European Journal of Social Psychology, 33, 609-621. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.173
Elo, S., Kääriäinen, M., Kanste, O., Pölkki, T., Utriainen, K., and Kyngäs, H. (2014). Qualitative content analysis: A focus on trustworthiness. SAGE open, 4(1), 2158244014522633. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244014522633
Foels, R. (2006). Ingroup favoritism and social self-esteem in minimal groups: Changing a social categorization into a social dentity. Current Research in Social Psychology, 12(3), 38-53.
Gallagher, H. C. (2013). Willingness to communicate and cross-cultural adaptation: L2 communication and acculturative stress as transaction. Applied Linguistics, 34(1), 53-73. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/ams023
Gerdes, H., and Mallinckrodt, B. (1994). Emotional, social, and academic adjustment of college students: A longitudinal study of retention. Journal of Counseling and Development, 72(3), 281-288. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6676.1994.tb00935.x
Glass, C. R., Gómez, E., and Urzua, A. (2014). Recreation, intercultural friendship, and international students’ adaptation to college by region of origin. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 42, 104-117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2014.05.007
Gong, Y., and Fan, J. (2006). Longitudinal examination of the role of goal orientation in cross-cultural adjustment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(1), 176–184. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.91.1.176
Guo, Q., and Ross, C. M. (2014). An exploratory study of Asian international students' campus recreational sports participation. Recreational Sports Journal, 38(1), 55-68. https://doi.org/10.1123/rsj.2013-0007
Harris, J. C. (1998). Civil society, physical activity, and the involvement of sport sociologists in the preparation of physical activity professionals. Sociology of Sport Journal, 15(2), 138-153. https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.15.2.138
Heere, B., and James, J. D. (2007a). Sports teams and their communities: Examining the influence of external group identities on team identity. Journal of Sport Management, 21(3), 319-337. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsm.21.3.319
Heere, B., and James, J. D. (2007b). Stepping outside the lines: Developing a multi-dimensional team identity scale based on social identity theory. Sport Management Review, 10, 65-91. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1441-3523(07)70004-9
Hendrickson, B., Rosen, D., and Aune, R. K. (2011). An analysis of friendship networks, social connectedness, homesickness, and satisfaction levels of international students. International journal of intercultural relations, 35(3), 281-295. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2010.08.001
Hogg, M.A., and Abrams, D. (1990). Social identity and social cognition: Historical background and current trends. In D.Abrams and M.A. Hogg (Eds.). Social Identity and Social Cognition. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Houston, B.K. (1971). Sources, effects, and individual vulnerability of psychological problems for college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 18(2), 157-165. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0030622
Institute of International Education. (2020). Open doors® 2019 Fast Facts. https://opendoorsdata.org/fast_facts/fast-facts-2019/
Kağnıcı, D. Y. (2012). The role of multicultural personality in predicting university adjustment of international students in Turkey. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 34(2), 174-184.
Kalpidou, M., Costin, D., and Morris, J. (2011). The relationship between Facebook and the well-being of undergraduate college students. CyberPsychology, behavior, and social networking, 14(4), 183-189. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2010.0061
Koo, G. Y., Sung, J., and Martinez, J. M. (2015). Effects of team identification on social and emotional adjustment in higher education. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 8(2), 247-265. https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.2014-0081
Korobova, N., and Starobin, S. S. (2015). A comparative study of student engagement, satisfaction, and academic success among international and US students. Journal of International Students, 5(1), 72-85.
Levermore, R. (2010). CSR for development through sport: Examining its potential and limitations. Third world quarterly, 31(2), 223-241. https://doi.org/10.1080/01436591003711967
Li, M. Z., and Stodolska, M. (2006). Transnationalism, leisure, and Chinese graduate students in the United States. Leisure Sciences, 28(1), 39-55. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400500332686
Li, M. Z., and Stodolska, M. (2007). Working for a dream and living for the future: Leisure constraints and negotiation strategies among Chinese international graduate students. Leisure/Loisir, 31(1), 105-132. https://doi.org/10.1080/14927713.2007.9651375
Lincoln, Y. S., and Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverley Hills, CA: Sage.
Lokitz, B.D., and Sprandel, H.Z. (1976). The First Year: A look at the Freshman Experience. Journal of College Student Personnel, 17(4), 274-279.
Mallinckrodt, B., and Leong, F. T. (1992). International graduate students, stress, and social support. Journal of College Student Development, 33(1), 71-78.
Merriam, S. B. (2009). Qualitative case study research. Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation, 39-54.
Mesidor, J. K., and Sly, K. F. (2016). Factors that contribute to the adjustment of international students. Journal of International Students, 6(1), 262-282.
Miles, M. B., and Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (Second ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Oakes, P.J., and Turner, J.C. (1980). Social categorization and intergroup behavior: Does minimal intergroup discrimination make social identity more positive? European Journal of Social Psychology, 10(3), 295-301. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2420100307
Oleinik, A. (2011). Mixing quantitative and qualitative content analysis: Triangulation at work. Quality and Quantity, 45(4), 859-873.
Palmer, C., and Thompson, K. (2007). The paradoxes of football spectatorship: on-field and online expressions of social capital among the “Grog Squad”. Sociology of sport journal, 24(2), 187-205. https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.24.2.187
Peachey, J. W., Cunningham, G. B., Lyras, A., Cohen, A., and Bruening, J. (2015). The influence of a sport-for-peace event on prejudice and change agent self-efficacy. Journal of Sport Management, 29(3), 229-244. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsm.2013-0251
Pedrotti, J.T., Edwards, L.M., and Lopez, S.J. (2008). Working with multiracial clients in therapy: Bridging theory, research, and practice. Professional Psychology, Research and Practice, 39(2), 192-201. https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7028.39.2.192
Pittman, L.D., and Richmond, A. (2007). Academic and psychological functioning in late adolescence: The importance of school belonging. Journal of Experimental Education, 75(4), 270-290. https://doi.org/10.3200/JEXE.75.4.270-292
Pittman, L.D., and Richmond, A. (2008). University belonging, friendship quality, and psychological adjustment during the transition to college. Journal of Experimental Education, 76(4), 343-362. https://doi.org/10.3200/JEXE.76.4.343-362
Poyrazli, S., Arbona, C., Bullington, R., and Pisecco, S. (2001). Adjustment issues of Turkish college students studying in the United States. College Student Journal, 35(1), 52-52.
Poyrazli, S., and Kavanaugh, P. R. (2006). Marital status, ethnicity, academic achievement, and adjustment strains. College Student Journal, 40(4), 767-780.
Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of US community. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
Ramsay, S., Jones, E., and Barker, M. (2007). Relationship between adjustment and support types: Young and mature-aged local and international first year university students. Higher education, 54(2), 247-265. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-006-9001-0
Rich, A.R., and Scovel, M. (1987). Causes of depression in college students: A cross-lagged panel correlational analysis. Psychological Reports, 60(1), 27-30. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.19220.127.116.11
Shankland, R., Genolini, C., França, L.R., Guelfi, J.D., and Ionescu, S. (2010). Student adjustment to higher education: The role of alternative education pathways in coping with the demands of student life. Higher Education, 59(3), 353-366.
Simek, O.F. (2013). Structural relations of personal and collective self-esteem to subjective well-being: Attachment as moderator. Social Indicators Research, 110(1), 219-236.
Sugden, J. (2008). Anyone for football for peace? The challenges of using sport in the service of co‐existence in Israel. Soccer and Society, 9(3), 405-415. https://doi.org/10.1080/14660970802009023
Sung, J., Koo, G. Y., Kim, S., and Dittmore, S. W. (2015). Enhancement of non-academic enviornment by intercollegiate athletics and its intangible benefit in higher education. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.7752/jpes.2015.01008
Swanson, S.R., Gwinner, K., Larson, B.V., and Janda, S. (2003). Motivations of college student game attendance and word-of-mouth behavior: The impact of gender differences. Sports Marketing Quarterly, 12(3), 151-162.
Tajfel, H. (1978). The achievement of group differentiation. In H. Tajfel (Ed.), Differentiation between social groups: Studies in the social psychology of intergroup relations. London: Academic Press.
Tajfel, H. (1981). Human groups and social categories: Studies in social psychology. CUP Archive.
Tajfel, H., and Turner, J. C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. The social psychology of intergroup relations, 33-47.
Tajfel, H., and Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In Worchel, S. and Austin, L.W. (Eds.) Psychology and Intergroup Relations. Chicago, IL: Nelson-Hall.
Toma, J. D. (2003). Football U.: Spectator sports in the life of the US university. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Tonts, M. (2005). Competitive sport and social capital in rural Australia. Journal of rural studies, 21(2), 137-149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2005.03.001
Turner, J.C. (1975). Social comparison and social identity: Some prospects for intergroup behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology, 5(1), 1-34.
Wann, D.L. (2000). Further exploration of seasonal changes in sport fan identification: Investigating the importance of fan expectations. International Sports Journal, 4(1), 119-123.
Wann, D.L. (2006). Understanding the positive social psychological benefits of sport team identification: The team identification-social psychological health model. Group Dynamics, 10(4), 272-296. https://doi.org/10.1037/1089-2618.104.22.1682
Wann, D.L., and Branscombe, N.R. (1993). Sports fans: Measuring degree of identification with the team. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 24(1), 1-17.
Wann, D.L., Brewer, K.R., and Royalty, J.L. (1999). Sport fan motivation: Relationships with team identification and emotional reactions to sporting events. International Sports Journal, 3(2), 9-18.
Ward, C., and Kennedy, A. (1993). Psychological and sociocultural adjustment during cross-cultural transitions: A comparison of secondary students overseas and at home. International journal of psychology, 28(2), 129-147. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207599308247181
Zhao, C. M., Kuh, G. D., and Carini, R. M. (2005). A comparison of international student and US student engagement in effective educational practices. The Journal of Higher Education, 76(2), 209-231. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2005.11778911
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The findings, interpretations, conclusions, and views expressed in Journal of Comparative and International Higher Education (JCIHE) are entirely those of the authors and should not be attributed in any manner to CIES, HESIG, or the sponsoring universities of the Editorial Staff. These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License. Readers are free to copy, display, and distribute articles that appear in JCIHE as long as the work is attributed to the author(s) and JCIHE, it is distributed for non-commercial purposes only, and no alteration or transformation is made in the work. All other uses must be approved by the author(s) or JCIHE. By submitting a manuscript, authors agree to transfer without charge the following rights to JCIHE upon acceptance of the manuscript: first worldwide serial publication rights and the right for JCIHE to grant permissions as its editors judge appropriate for the redistribution of the article, its abstract, and metadata associated with the article in professional indexing and reference services.