International Doctoral Students’ Sense of Belonging, Mental Toughness, and Psychological Well-Being

Authors

  • Shaoan Zhang University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Chengcheng Li
  • Danny Unger

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v14i1.3432

Keywords:

international doctoral students, mental toughness, psychological well-being, sense of belonging

Abstract

This study described international doctoral students’ experiences and further examined the relationships between their academic goals and psychological well-being and their sense of belonging and mental toughness. A multiple case study was conducted in a southwest university with three international doctoral students. The findings of six interviews about international doctoral students’ experiences with their mentors and peers implied that their sense of belonging and mental toughness related to academic goals and psychological well-being. Their sense of belonging impacted academic goals or psychological well-being through international doctoral students’ communication and relationship with their mentors and support from their peers; and their mental toughness impacted academic goals or psychological well-being via cognition, behavior, and affection.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497-529. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497

Clough, P., Earle, K., & Sewell, D. (2002). Mental toughness: The concept and its measurement. In I. Cockerill (Ed.), Solutions in sport psychology (pp. 32-45). Thomson.

Coulter, T. J., Mallett, C. J., & Gucciardi, D. F. (2010). Understanding mental toughness in Australian soccer: Perceptions of players, parents, and coaches. Journal of Sports Sciences, 28(7), 699-716. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640411003734085

Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2018). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among the Five Approaches. Sage.

Crust, L. (2008). A review and conceptual re-examination of MT: Implications for

future researchers. Personality and Individual Differences, 45(7), 576-583. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2008.07.005

de Souza, M. & Halafoff, A. (Eds.). (2018). Re-enchanting education and spiritual wellbeing: Fostering belonging and meaning-making for global citizens. Routledge.

Eckersley, R. (2011). A new narrative of young people’s health and well-being. Journal of Youth Studies, 14, 627-638. https://doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2011.565043

Gerber, M., Brand, S., Feldmeth, A. K., Lang, C., Elliot, C., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., & Pühse, U. (2013). Adolescents with high mental toughness adapt better to perceived stress: A longitudinal study with Swiss vocational students. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(7), 808-814. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.12.003

Gerber, M., Kala, N., Lemola, S., Clough, P. J., Pühse, U., Elliot, C., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., & Brand, S. (2012). Adolescents’ exercise and physical activity are associated with mental toughness. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 5(1), 35-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mhpa.2012.02.004

Gibson, A (1998). Mental toughness. Vantage Press.

Glass, C. R., Kociolek, E., Wongtrirat, R., Lynch, R. J., & Cong, S. (2015). Uneven experiences: The impact of student-faculty interactions on international students’ sense of belonging. Journal of International Students, 5(4), 353-367. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v5i4.400

Hagerty, B. M., Williams, R. A., & Oe, H. (2002). Childhood antecedents of adult sense of belonging. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(7), 793-801. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.2007

Harmison, R. J. (2011). A social-cognitive framework for understanding and developing mental toughness in sport. In D. F. Gucciardi & S. Gordon (Eds.), MT in sport: Developments in theory and research (pp. 47-68). Routledge.

Institute of International Education (IIE). (2020). 2020 fast facts. https://opendoorsdata.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Open-Doors-2020-Fast-Facts.pdf

Jin, L., & Wang, C. D. C. (2018). International students’ attachment and psychological well-being: The mediation role of MT. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 31(1), 59-78. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515070.2016.1211510

Jones, G., Hanton, S., & Connaughton, D. (2007). A framework of MT in the world’s best performers. Sport Psychologist, 21(2), 243-264. https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.21.2.243

Levy, A. R., Polman, R. C., Clough, P. J., Marchant, D. C., & Earle, K. (2006). Mental

toughness as a determinant of beliefs, pain, and adherence in sport injury rehabilitation. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 15(3), 246-254. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsr.15.3.245

Li, L., Mazer, J. P., Ju, R. (2011). Resolving international teaching assistant language inadequacy through dialogue: Challenges and opportunities for clarity and credibility. Communication Education, 60, 461-478. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634523.2011.565352

Lindlof, T. R. & Taylor, B. C. (2002). Qualitative communication research methods (3rd ed.). Sage.

LoCastro, V., & Tapper, G. (2006). International teaching assistants and teacher identity. Journal of Applied Linguistics, 3(2), 185–218. https://doi.org/10.1558/japl.v3i2.185

Marijanovic, N., Lee, J., Teague, T., & Means, S. (2021). Advising experiences of first year international doctoral students. Journal of International Students, 11(2), 417-435. https://www.ojed.org/index.php/jis/article/view/1755

Maslow, A. H. (1968). Toward a psychology of being. Van Nostrand.

Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldan ̃a, J. (2020). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook (4th ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Myles, J., & Cheng, L. (2003). The social and cultural life of non-native English speaking

international graduate students at a Canadian university. Journal of English

for Academic Purposes, 2(3), 247-263. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1475-1585(03)00028-6

Petrie, T. A., Deiters, J., & Harmison, R. J. (2014). Mental toughness, social support, and athletic identity: Moderators of the life stress-injury relationship in collegiate football players. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 3(1), 13-27. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0032698

Saldaña, J. (2016). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (3rd ed.). SAGE Publication Ltd.

Shafaei, A., Nejati, M., & Abd Razak, N. (2018). A model of psychological well-being among international students. Educational Psychology, 38(1), 17-37. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2017.1356447

Sheard, M., Golby, J., & van Wersch, A. (2009). Progress toward construct validation of the Sports MT Questionnaire (SMTQ). European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 25(3), 186-193. https://doi.org/10.1027/1015-5759.25.3.186

Strayhorn, T. L. (2019). College students’ sense of belonging: A key to educational success for all students (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Walton, G. M., & Cohen, G. L. (2007). A question of belonging: Race, social fit, and

achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(1), 82–96. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.92.1.82

Yao, C. W. (2016). Unfulfilled expectations: Influence of Chinese international students’ roommate relationships on sense of belonging. Journal of International Students, 6(3), 762-778. https://www.ojed.org/index.php/jis/article/view/355

Yin, R. K. (2018). Case study research and applications: Design and methods (6th ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Additional Files

Published

2022-04-25

How to Cite

Zhang, S., Li, C., & Unger, D. (2022). International Doctoral Students’ Sense of Belonging, Mental Toughness, and Psychological Well-Being. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v14i1.3432

Issue

Section

Empirical Article