Developing Tailored Messages to Improve Mental Health and Adjustment of Asian International Students


  • Lan Jin Purdue University
  • Lalatendu Acharya Indiana University Kokomo



Asian international students, mental health, adjustment, tailored messages, intervention development


The purpose of the study was to develop tailored messages improving mental health and adjustment of Asian international students (AIS) in the US. The PEN-3 cultural model was used to contextualize the role of culture in mental health needs of AIS. Messages were developed through a multi-step participatory process with consisting of three focus groups (n=15), thirteen individual interviews, one expert consultation, and finally an online survey (n=85). The study led to the development of seven broad themes with seven tailored messages under each theme (total 49). Seven broad themes were: increasing the awareness of mental health and reducing stigma; motivational quotes; available and accessible resources for AIS to improve mental health; seeking help from social network and developing interpersonal skills; adjusting to American culture and college life; coping strategies to reduce stress and improve mental health and adjustment; and safety issues. The implications for culturally responsive programs are discussed.

Author Biographies

Lan Jin, Purdue University

LAN JIN, PhD, is an Intercultural Research Specialist in the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR) at Purdue University. Her major research interests lie in the area of intercultural competence development, program design and evaluation, and mental health of international students.

Lalatendu Acharya, Indiana University Kokomo

LALATENDU ACHARYA, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Allied Health Science at Indiana University Kokomo. Dr. Acharya’s research examines the different pathways to influence health behavior and address disparities through participatory health communication, health promotion and marketing interventions. Under this thematic area, he works on addressing health behavioral issues and disparity outcomes in the fields of mental health and environmental health, especially in adolescents, college students, and vulnerable communities.


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How to Cite

Jin, L., & Acharya, L. (2022). Developing Tailored Messages to Improve Mental Health and Adjustment of Asian International Students . Journal of International Students, 12(4), 817–842.



Research Articles (English)