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Chinese students' psychological and sociocultural adjustments to Britain: an empirical study

By Helen Spencer-Oatey and Zhaoning Xiong


This paper reports an empirical study of the psychological and sociocultural adjustments of two cohorts of Chinese students taking a foundation course in English language at a British university. Using Zung's (1965) Self-Rating Depression Scale and a modification of Ward and Kennedy's (1999) Sociocultural Adaptation Scale, quantitative data were obtained on the students' adjustment experiences, and these were correlated with other variables such as grade point average, age and length of stay in Britain. Interview data provided a richer picture of their experiences. The study found that the majority of students had few psychological or sociocultural adjustment difficulties. Nevertheless, social interaction with non-Chinese was consistently identified as problematic and this, as well as difficulties in adjusting to daily life, were very highly correlated with psychological stress. End-of-course grade point average was found to be negatively correlated with the psychological stress experienced near the beginning of the academic year. The paper calls for further research to follow up these findings, and concludes with a list of suggestions for universities to help address overseas students' psychological and sociocultural adjustment needs

Topics: BF, P1
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:

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