Acculturative Stress and Socio-Cultural Adaptation in International and Overseas Pakistani University Students

Author: Jaleesha Butt

Supervisor: Rukhsana Kausar, Ph.D

Degree: MSc

Year: 2012-2014

University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The present study was conducted to compare international and overseas
students on acculturative stress and socio-cultural adaptation. It was
hypothesized that there are likely to be differences in acculturative stress
and socio-cultural adaptation between the two groups and also that the
longer the students have resided in Pakistan they are likely to face less
level of acculturative stress and high socio-cultural adaptation. Sample
comprised of 100 (international = 50, 44 men & 06 women and overseas
= 50, 39 men and 11 women) university students with age range of 18 to
27 years. The mean age of men was (N = 20.93) (S.D = 2.05) whereas for
women it was (N = 20.71) (S.D =2.59) respectively. Sample was taken
from two public sector universities of Pakistan i.e. University of Punjab
and University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore. Acculturative
Stress Scale for International Students (Sandhu & Asrabadi, 1994) was
used to measure the acculturative stress whereas Revised Socio-cultural
Adaptation Scale (Wilson, 2013) was used to measure the socio-cultural
adaptation of the students. Results revealed significant differences only on
fear between the two groups. International student were found to be facing
higher levels of acculturative stress and in turn poorer socio- cultural
adaptation. No differences were found between two sets of students on
socio-cultural adaptation. Furthermore, significant negative relationship
was found between duration of stay in Pakistan and acculturative stress.
This study enhances the understanding of the acculturative stress and
socio-cultural adaptation in international and overseas students in the
Pakistani context and will facilitate various universities to make policies
that will aid in acculturation process of international and overseas

Keywords: Acculturative Stress, Socio-Cultural Adaptation, International Students, Overseas Students.

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Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email:, Phone: 92-42-9231245

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