Chinese International Scholars’ Work–Life Balance in the United States

Stress and Strategies




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.


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Author Biographies

Chang Su-Russell, Illinois State University, USA

CHANG SU-RUSSELL, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Illinois State University. Her research centers on the socioemotional wellbeing of the very young children with the considerations of social contexts during challenging times. Her two lines of research includes young children's wellbeing in the transition to siblinghood in urban mainland China, and how parents discuss challenging social issues with young children. 

Anthony James Jr., Miami University, USA

ANTHONY G. JAMES, JR. holds a Ph.D. in human development and family studies from the University of Missouri. He is an associate professor, the director of the Family Science Program, and the interim vice president of institutional diversity and inclusion at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is the editor-in-chief of Marriage and Family Review and previously served as the deputy editor of Journal of Family Theory & Review. Dr. James’s research and thought leadership has appeared in Diverse Issue in Higher Education, TIME, and the Thrive Center for Human Development blog. He is the editor of Black Families: A Systems Approach and author of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Practical Guide.


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How to Cite

Su-Russell, C., & James, A. (2021). Chinese International Scholars’ Work–Life Balance in the United States: Stress and Strategies. Journal of International Students, 11(2), 484–504.



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