Chinese International Scholars’ Work–Life Balance in the United States
Stress and Strategies
Keywords:acculturation strategies, Chinese international scholars, work–life balance
Acculturative stress and strategies have been investigated with undergraduate international students in the United States. However, not much is known about scholars who come to the United States for advanced educational or career opportunities. Guided by Berry’s (2006) acculturative stress coping adaptation theory, the current study explored lived experiences of CISs through longitudinal interviews. Inductive analysis revealed themes about stressors that challenged work–life balance. Three types of coping strategies for these stressors were identified: (a) grandparents’ and spousal support, (b) mental strengths, and (c) planning ahead for the future of their family. Practical implications are discussed for supporting CISs. Findings of the current study expand our knowledge about CISs’ challenges and strategies for maintaining work–life balance.
Atieno, O. P. (2009). An analysis of the strengths and limitation of qualitative and quantitative research paradigms. Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 13, 13–38.
Berry, J. W. (2006). Stress perspectives on acculturation. In D. L. Sam & J. W. Berry (Eds.), The Cambridge of acculturation psychology (pp. 43–57). Cambridge University Press.
Berry, J. W., & Hou, F. (2017). Acculturation, discrimination and wellbeing among second generation of immigrants in Canada. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 61, 29–39. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2017.08.003
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1986). Ecology of the family as a context for human development: Research perspectives. Developmental Psychology, 22(6), 723–742.
Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (2006). The bioecological model of human development. In W. Damon (Series ed.) & R. M. Lerner (Vol. ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Theoretical models of human development (pp. 793–828). Wiley.
Chen, F., Liu, G., & Mair, C. A. (2011). Intergenerational ties in context: Grandparents caring for grandchildren in China. Social Forces, 90(2), 571–594. https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/sor012
Chen, H.-M., & Lewis, D. C. (2015). Chinese grandparents’ involvement in their adult children’s parenting practices in the United States. Contemporary Family Theory, 37, 58–71. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10591-014-9321-7
Choi, T. (2006). Asian international students’ academic adjustment in a U.S. graduate school and Stanton-Salazar’s framework. Pacific Asian Education, 18, 51–68.
Collier, D. A., & Hernandez, X. J. (2016). Tatemae and honne: Interpreting the theory versus practice of international student development and outreach. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 9, 369–384.
Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2014). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. SAGE.
Cox, M. J., & Paley, B. (1997). Families as systems. Annual Review of Psychology, 48(1), 243–267. http://doi.org/ 10.1146/annurev.psych.48.1.243
Creswell, J. W. (2005). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative. Prentice Hall.
Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research: Meaning and perspective in the research process. SAGE.
Dweck, C. S. (1996). Implicit theories as organizers of goals and behavior. In P. M. Gollwitzer & J. A. Bargh (Eds.), The psychology of action: Linking cognition and motivation to behavior (pp. 69–90). Guilford Press.
Gautam, C., Lowery, C. L., Mays, C., & Durant, D. (2016). Challenges for global learners: A qualitative study of the concerns and difficulties of international students. Journal of International Students, 6, 501–526. https://www.ojed.org/index.php/jis/article/view/368/287
Goldkuhl, G. (2012). Pragmatism vs interpretivism in qualitative information systems research. European Journal of Information Systems, 21(2), 135–146. https://doi.org/10.1057/ejis.2011.54
Halic, O., Greenberg, K., & Paulus, T. (2009). Language and academic identity: A study of the experiences of non-native English speaking international students. International Education, 38, 73–93.
Hatch, J. A. (2002). Doing qualitative research in education settings. State University of New York Press.
Heng, T. T. (2017). Voices of Chinese international students in USA colleges: ‘I want to tell them that …’ Studies in Higher Education, 42, 833–850. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2017.1293873
Heng, T. T. (2018a). Coping strategies of international Chinese undergraduates in response to academic challenges in U.S. college. Teachers College Record, 120, 1–42.
Heng, T. T. (2018b). Different is not deficient: Contradicting stereotypes of Chinese international students in US higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 43, 22–36. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2016.1152466
Institute for International Education. (2018). Open Doors fact sheet: China. Retrieved September 26, 2019 from https://www.iie.org/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors/Data/International-Students
Kim, B. S. K., Atkinson, D. R., & Umemoto, D. (2001). Asian cultural values and the counseling process: Current knowledge and directions for future research. The Counseling Psychologist, 29, 570–603. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000001294006
Knapp, S. J. (2009). Critical theorizing: Enhancing theoretical rigor in family research. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 1, 133–145. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1756-2589.2009.00018.x
Lee, J. J., & Rice, C. (2007). Welcome to America? International student perceptions of discriminations. Higher Education, 53, 381–409. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-005-4508-3
Leki, I. (2001). “A narrow thinking system”: Nonnative-English-speaking students in group projects across the curriculum. TESOL Quarterly, 35, 39–67.
Li, J., Wang, Y., Liu, X., Xu, Y., & Cui, T. (2018). Academic adaptation among international students from East Asian countries: A consensual qualitative research. Journal of International Students, 8, 194–214. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1134289
Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. SAGE.
Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. (2000). Paradigmatic controversies, contradictions, and emerging confluences. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed.; pp. 163–188). SAGE.
Low, S. S., & Goh, E. C. (2015). Granny as nanny: Positive outcomes for grandparents providing childcare for dual-income families. Fact or myth? Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 13(4), 302–319. https://doi.org/10.1080/15350770.2015.1111003
Lynch, E. W., & Hanson, M. J. (2011). Developing cross-cultural competence: A guide for working with young children and their families (4th ed.). Brookes Publishing.
Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98(2), 224–253.
Martinez, E., Ordu, C., Della Sala, M. R., & McFarlane, A. (2013). Striving to obtain a school-work-life balance: The full-time doctoral student. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 8, 39–59.
Morse, J. M. (1991). Qualitative nursing research: A free-for-all? In J. M. Morse (Ed.), Qualitative nursing research: A contemporary dialogue (Revised ed.). SAGE.
Olesen, V. L. (2000). Feminisms and qualitative research at and into the millennium. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed.; pp. 215–256). SAGE.
Pan, J.-Y., Wong, D. F. K., Chan, C. L. W., & Joubert, L. (2008). Meaning of life as a protective factor of positive affect in acculturation: A resilience framework and a cross-cultural comparison. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 32, 505–514. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2008.08.002
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. SAGE.
Pizam, A., & Mansfeld, Y. (2009). Consumer behaviour in travel and tourism. Howarth Hospitality Press.
Ramburuth, P., & McCormick, J. (2001). Learning diversity in higher education: A comparative study of Asian international and Australian students. Higher Education, 42, 333–350. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1017982716482
Rockquemore, K. A., & Laszloffy, T. (2008). The Black academic’s guide to winning tenure without losing your soul. Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Sallee, M. W. (2015). Adding academics to the work/family puzzle: Graduate student parents in higher education and student affairs. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 52, 401–413. https://doi.org/10.1080/19496591.2015.1083438
Sallee, M., & Hart, J. (2015). Cultural navigators: International faculty fathers in the U.S. research university. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 8, 192–211. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0039042
Sato, T., & Hodge, S. R. (2009). Asian international doctoral students’ experiences at two American universities: Assimilation, accommodation, and resistance. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 2, 136–148. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015912
Saunders, B., Sim, J., Kingstone, T., Baker, S., Waterfield, J., Bartlam, B., Burroughs, H., & Jinks, C. (2018). Saturation in qualitative research: Exploring its conceptualization and operationalization. Quality & Quantity, 52(4), 1893–1907.
Schlossberg, N. K., Lynch, A. Q., & Chickering, A. W. (1989). Improving higher education environments for adults. Responsive programs and services from entry to departure. Jossey-Bass.
Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., Settle, T., Lee, J. K., & Kamp Dush, C. M. (2016). Supportive coparenting relationships as a haven of psychological safety at the transition to parenthood. Research in Human Development, 13(1), 32–48. https://doi.org/10.1080/15427609.2016.1141281
Seidman, I. (2006). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in education and social sciences (3rd ed.). Teachers College Press.
Sharma, S. (2019). Focusing on graduate international students. Journal of International Students, 9(3), i–xi. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v9i3
Shih, K. Y., Chang, T.-F., & Chen, S.-Y. (2019). Impacts of the model minority myth on Asian American individuals and families: Social justice and critical race feminist perspectives. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 11, 412–428. https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12342
Turner, C. S. V., Gonzalez, J. C., & Wood, J. L. (2008). Faculty of color in academe: What 20 years of literature tells us. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 1, 139–168. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012837
van Manen, M. (1990) Researching lived experience: Human science for an action sensitive pedagogy. The Althouse Press.
Ward, C. (1996). Acculturation. In D. Landis & R. Bhagat (Eds.), Handbook of intercultural training (2nd ed.). SAGE.
Xie, X., & Xia, Y. (2011). Grandparenting in Chinese immigrant families. Marriage & Family Review, 47(6), 383–396. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/famconfacpub/82
Xing, D., & Bolden, B. (2019). Exploring oral English learning motivation in Chinese international students with low oral English proficiency. Journal of International Students, 9(3), 834–855. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v9i3.749
Yan, K., & Berliner, D. C. (2013). Chinese international students’ personal and sociocultural stressors in the United States. Journal of College Student Development, 54, 62–84. https://doi.org/10.1353/csd.2013.0010
Yeh, C. J., & Inose, M. (2003). International students’ reported English fluency, social support satisfaction, and social connectedness as predictors of acculturative stress. Counseling Psychology Quarterly, 16, 15–28. https://doi.org/10.1080/0951507031000114058
Zhang, Y. L. (2018). Using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological approach to understand academic advising with international community college students. Journal of International Students, 8, 1764–1782. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1468084
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of International Students
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
All published articles are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License.