Striving for Success: Academic Adjustment of International Students in the U.S.


  • Gilberte Bastien Morehouse School of Medicine, United States
  • Tanja Seifen-Adkins University of Mississippi, United States
  • Laura R. Johnson University of Mississippi, United States



academic adjustment, acculturation, international students, psychological adjustment


Few studies have provided an examination of the academic component of acculturation. This study sought to extend the work in this area by examining factors impacting academic adjustment of international students in the US and compare results to factors of psychological adjustment. Predictors of academic adjustment were investigated with a sample of 122 international students. Hierarchical regressions revealed length of stay in the U.S., English proficiency, and help-seeking predicted academic adjustment, whereas age and attachment to the university community predicted psychological adjustment. Psychological adjustment was associated with acculturation strategy and cultural distance. Results suggest the need for targeted support interventions to facilitate psychological and socio-cultural adjustment in each domain.

Author Biographies

Gilberte Bastien, Morehouse School of Medicine, United States

GILBERTE BASTIEN, PhD, is a behavioral health researcher at Morehouse School of Medicine’s Satcher Health Leadership Institute. Her research and clinical interests focus on disparities in health and mental health, with an emphasis on the role of culture and its impact on accessibility, acceptability, and efficacy of mental health services for underserved populations. 

Tanja Seifen-Adkins, University of Mississippi, United States

TANJA SEIFEN-ADKINS, M.S., is a graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of Mississippi. She received her M.S. in Psychology from the University of Bonn in Germany. Her research interests include adjustment and psychological well-being of international students, intercultural competence, and sexual satisfaction among young adults. 

Laura R. Johnson, University of Mississippi, United States

LAURA R. JOHNSON, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Mississippi where she teaches multicultural psychology and supervises outreach programming for international and study abroad students. Dr. Johnson's research includes positive youth development, intercultural attitudes, conservation behaviors, and civic engagement, with a focus on East African youth and the internationalization of psychology.




How to Cite

Bastien, G., Seifen-Adkins, T., & Johnson, L. R. (2018). Striving for Success: Academic Adjustment of International Students in the U.S. Journal of International Students, 8(2), 1198–1219.



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