Master of Science
Dr. Victoria Esses
In the present research, I developed a program that paired newcomer international students with Canadian student mentors. These pairs met weekly throughout the year. Analysis of pilot quantitative data suggested international student participants did not experience changes in attitudes towards Canadian students or feelings of integration at university as they got to know their mentors, contrary to what I had initially hypothesized. After conducting focus group interviews and reforming the survey measures for the main study, I found that program participants experienced positive changes in sociocultural and psychological adaptation, and a reduction in acculturative stress over time. At the conclusion of the program, program participants also showed higher levels of psychological adaptation and lower levels of acculturative stress than control participants, who had not participated in the program. These findings make an important contribution to the empirical literature on the acculturation of international students and provide foundations for future research.
Thomson, Clint E., "Helping the Transition Through Building New Friendships: A Psychological Perspective on Supporting International Students' Acculturation and Social Integration" (2016). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 3762.