The relationship between self-construal and psychological and socio-cultural adjustment of Asian Indian international students studying in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology, Massey University, Palmerston North

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Massey University
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New Zealand has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of Asian Indian international students undertaking study in this country in recent years, with the majority choosing a Polytechnic Institute to pursue their tertiary education. This phenomenon is part of a global trend which has encouraged a large body of literature describing international students’ acculturation and adjustment experiences. However, as little research centres on Indian students, this study seeks to address in some way that gap by exploring the association between self-construal and socio-cultural and psychological adjustment of Indian international students to life in New Zealand. A total of 39 Indian students, studying at Waiariki Institute of Technology, 63% of whom were males, completed an online survey. The survey comprised of a number of measures investigating the four hypotheses which explore student self-construal and adjustment and those factors that predict and mediate the adjustment of Indian students. The findings of this study show that in spite of India being described as a collectivist and traditional family-centred culture, Indian students adopt a bicultural approach as early as six months after their arrival in New Zealand. They show positive levels of adjustment, with social connectedness and English language fluency having a partial mediating effect on the relationship between the horizontal-relational dimension of self-construal and psychological adjustment. While there are a number of limitations to this study, the findings are encouraging and suggest that Indian students possess a number of attributes that facilitate their adjustment. The influence of the horizontal-collective dimension of self-construal on Indian students’ adjustment highlights the importance of on-campus strategies to encourage the development of meaningful relationships among students which support ongoing adjustment to academic study and life in New Zealand.
Asian Indian international students, Students, Foreign, Psychology, Adjustment (Psychology), Self, Cultural identity, New Zealand, Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Psychology::Applied psychology