Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies

Committee Chair

Ayşe Çiftçi

Committee Member 1

Ala Samarapungavan

Committee Member 2

Blake Allan

Committee Member 3

Yukiko Maeda


The purpose of this study was to understand the relationships among East Asian international students cultural construals of stress (i.e., acculturative stress), psychological wellbeing (i.e., interdependence happiness), cognitive appraisal (i.e., dialectical thinking), and coping skills (i.e., collectivistic coping: seeking social support and forbearance) using Chun, Moos, and Cronkite’s (2006) stress and coping model as the theoretical framework. This study was the first attempt to propose a theoretical framework elucidating the possible relationships among these variables through a cultural lens. A total of 313 self-identified East Asian international students participated in the online-based survey. Using a hierarchical regression, the results revealed that acculturative stress demonstrated the largest effect size among all the independent variables in explaining interdependent happiness among East Asian international students. Additionally, seeking social support as East Asian international students’ collectivistic coping style was found to be a positive contributor; whereas, dialectical thinking contributed negatively to interdependent happiness among East Asian international students. Finally, the higher levels of dialectical thinking, the stronger the negative association was between acculturative stress and interdependent happiness among East Asian international students. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are presented. Implications for counseling psychology practice with East Asian international students are also discussed.