Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Heather Servaty-Seib

Committee Chair

Heather Servaty-Seib

Committee Member 1

Ayse Ciftci

Committee Member 2

Maria Venetis

Committee Member 3

Mona Bapat


The focus of the current study was on examining possible differences in college students' adjustment based on residency status (i.e., international Asian vs. domestic students) and illness status (i.e., having a family member with a chronic illness vs. not having a family member with a chronic illness). The study also examined the associations between overall college student adjustment and the family and illness-related factors of role conflict, uncertainty in illness, and illness-related communication avoidance for students will a chronically ill family member. The literature review drew from the fields of college student development, family studies, communication, and nursing. Data were collected from 232 students (85 international Asian and 147 domestic) from two Midwestern public universities. A MANCOVA and a hierarchical regression were performed to address four research questions and test three associated hypotheses. Results indicated that international Asian students scored lower than their domestic peers on the college student adjustment domains of social adjustment and institutional attachment. Students who had a family member with a chronic illness scored lower on the college student adjustment domain of personal-emotional adjustment than students who did not have a family member with a chronic illness. Finally, there was a negative association between role conflict and overall college adjustment regardless of residency or illness status. Recommendations are discussed for counseling psychologists working in a variety of settings across college campuses.