Psychological and behavioral characteristics and adjustment of Latin American international students to U. S. college life



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As foreign lands become accessible, students increasingly travel to study abroad. In spite of the large number of foreign students in the U.S., counselors may lack knowledge about them and their adjustment problems. Previous research on foreign students has been mostly descriptive and has not resolved the issued of universality of psychological constructs and human behavior. The purpose of the study was threefold: 1) to provide information about a group of foreign students, namely, Latin-American International Students (LAIS), and compare them with U.S. students, and among themselves according to country of origin; 2) to predict three outcomes of their adjustment to U.S. college life: need for vocational and personal counseling, social involvement and decision to return home, and 3) to test the appropriateness of certain psychometric instruments for cross-cultural use. Subjects were University of Houston ( U. H.) students from Cuba, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela and the U.S. A stratified random sample of LAIS (n = 169), and a representative sample of U.S. students (n = 180) were selected, Measuring instruments included the Student Profile Questionnaire (SPQ), an instrument designed for this study; the Rokeach Value Survey, The Holland Vocational Preference Inventory (VPI), and the Client Request Form, (CRF), adapted from Eisenthal and Lazare1s Patient Request Form. Instruments were translated into Spanish and tested on Guatemalan students from Texas A. & M. University. Questionnaires were mailed to LAIS and a fee was offered for their completion. U.S. students received course credit for participation, and answered only the Value Survey and CRF. Data on U.S. students already existed for the SPQ from 1977 U.H. freshmen, and for the VPI from a national college sample. [...]