Date of Award

December 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Tae-Seop Lim

Committee Members

Mike Allen, Nancy Burrell, Sang-Yeon Kim


Acculturation, International Students, Theory of Planned Behavior


The current study explores what motivates international students to choose how to acculturation in the academic environment. The traditional view in the field tends to consider acculturation as objective criteria with an assumption that a certain acculturation strategy (i.e., integration) is better than another (assimilation). Using Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB; 1991), the study assessed how international students’ beliefs (i.e., subjective norms, behavioral control and attitudes) would influence their choice of acculturation behaviors (i.e., affiliating with Americans and/or other international students from the same country, and practicing American and/or home-country values), and how the relationship between the acculturation beliefs and their acculturation choice would relate to their assessment of migration. The study also distinguished the subjective norms into two groups including the host-country group and home-country group, recognizing that international students are exposed to both groups. Participants (N = 69) were mainly recruited from a large public university in Midwest in the U.S. A total of 69 international students in the U.S. completed the survey. The sample consisted of 43.47% East Asian students (n = 53), 24.63% middle Eastern students (n =17), 20.29% from other regions (n = 14) including South Asia, Africa and Europe. The results showed that attitudes and subjective norms predicted all of the acculturation behaviors, while behavioral control predicted the choice of affiliating with Americans and international students, and practicing American values. The analysis also demonstrated that international students’ satisfaction with their life in the U.S. was influenced by relationship with Americans and subjective norm of Americans.

Included in

Communication Commons