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Cross-cultural adjustment to the United States: The role of contextualized extraversion change

By Mengqiao eLiu and Jason L. Huang


Personality traits can predict how well sojourners and expatriates adjust to new cultures, but the adjustment process remains largely unexamined. Based on recent findings that reveal personality traits predict as well as respond to life events and experiences, this research focuses on within-person change in contextualized extraversion and its predictive validity for cross-cultural adjustment in international students who newly arrived in U.S. colleges. We proposed that the initial level as well as the rate of change in school extraversion (i.e., contextualized extraversion that reflects behavioral tendency in school settings) will predict cross-cultural adjustment, withdrawal cognitions, and school satisfaction. Latent growth modeling of three-wave longitudinal surveys of 215 new international students (54% female, Mage = 24 years) revealed that the initial level of school extraversion significantly predicted cross-cultural adjustment, (lower) withdrawal cognitions, and satisfaction, while the rate of change (increase) in school extraversion predicted cross-cultural adjustment and (lower) withdrawal cognitions. We further modeled global extraversion and cross-cultural motivation as antecedents and explored within-person change in school extraversion as a proximal factor that affects adjustment outcomes. The findings highlight the malleability of contextualized personality, and more importantly, the importance of understanding within-person change in contextualized personality in a cross-cultural adjustment context. The study points to more research that explicate the process of personality change in other contexts

Topics: United States, Extraversion, personality change, latent growth model, International students, cross-cultural adjustment, Psychology, BF1-990
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01650
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