Date of Conferral







Gary Burkholder


International students experience stress and adaptation difficulties as they study in a new culture. This study examined how cultural distance, acculturative stress, and social support interacted to influence positive and negative emotional responses among international students in the northern part of Cyprus. Acculturation models and the stress-buffering hypothesis served as theoretical frameworks. The 2 research questions involved understanding whether international students experienced more negative emotional responses compared to students from the home culture and whether social support moderated acculturative stress and reactions to being in the northern part of Cyprus. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to examine differences in emotional reactions between home and international students while 2 hierarchical multiple regressions examined the moderation hypotheses. ANOVA results indicated that Turkish-Cypriots had more positive emotional responses than international students. Results did not support social support as a moderator for either international students' acculturative stress or their emotional reactions. However, results suggested that unmet expectations, less financial satisfaction, and less social support predicted acculturative stress, while being in a relationship, having higher Turkish proficiency, having unmet expectations, and experiencing higher acculturative stress predicted more negative emotional reactions. These results may help universities design programs to support the psychological adaptation of international students, which could ultimately facilitate student retention.