Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology


This study examined whether there were differences in six acculturative stress themes among three Malaysian ethnic groups who were enrolled at Western Michigan University during the Fall, 1997 semester. The study also investigated whether the following demographic attributes: (a) gender, (b) academic major, (c) financial sponsorship, (d) family socioeconomic status, (e) type of residential setting, and (f) scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) affected Malaysian students in relation to the six acculturative stress themes: (1) Perceived Discrimination, (2) Homesickness, (3) Perceived Hate, (4) Fear, (5) Culture Shock, and (6) Guilt.

A total of 138 respondents (female, n = 49 and male, n = 89) ranging between 18 and 37 years of age were selected through a process of systematic random sampling. They took approximately 20 minutes to answer a set of 36-items in Likert format on the Acculturative Stress Scale for International Students (ASSIS) designed to measure international students' concerns on a variety of psychological issues related to their stay in a university environment outside of their home country.

Two-Way Analyses of Variance (ANOVA) and Post hoc analyses using the Scheffe method were used to determine differences among the six acculturative stress themes. Twenty four hypotheses were tested at an alpha .05 level of significance. Important findings in this study included: (a) Malay students experienced higher levels of stress on the majority of the six acculturative stress themes on the ASSIS than did the Chinese and Indian groups; (b) there were stress differences between students who were below 20 years of age and students who were above 26 years on all acculturative stress themes; (c) there were interactions between students' types of sponsorship and three types of academic major on Perceived Discrimination, Homesickness, Perceived Fear, and Guilt acculturative stress themes; (d) the study indicated an interaction among students' two types of residential settings and three socio-economic levels on the Culture Shock theme; and (e) the study found the Homesickness stress theme constituted the most concern among the three ethnic groups at Western Michigan University.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access