Dear WWPO Members, Thanks again for reading my abstract on communication and peacebuilding. Here's an informal paper I'm presenting to a faculty in an international school in Chicago this Thursday. (It will be followed by a presentation on solutions.) Any comments are certainly welcome! Thanks, Bruce *Stress and Acculturation: * *Problems in Teaching International Students* *Bruce L. Cook, Ph.D.* *Chicago ORT Technical Institute * *Author Note* *Bruce L. Cook, Vice President/founder World Peace Organization (WWPO.org)* *Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to * *Bruce L. Cook, Cook Communication Inc., 1407 Getzelman Drive, Elgin, IL 60123* *Contact: cookcomm@xxxxxxxxx <cookcomm@xxxxxxxxx>* Abstract Research in education has established that international students face a higher than normal level of stress in the higher education classroom. For this reason, it is suggested that international students may be at a disadvantage in performance as compared with other students. This review spotlights several studies for the purpose of identifying typical problem areas for the purpose of discussion. Research studies are described with focus on the general student population, international education, and vocational education (for medical and nursing fields). Keywords: higher education, acculturation, stress, international Stress and Acculturation: Problems in Teaching International Students How can higher education instruction more effectively communicate with international students? Several research studies have examined problems that can inhibit teaching effectiveness. At the same time, the problem of stress is not confined to international students. As far back as 1960, based upon experience in a junior college, Burton R. Clark (1960) was reporting a “cooling-out” factor in higher education. Speaking in broad terms, he generalized that democratic society was “experiencing inconsistency between encouragement to achieve and the realities of limited opportunity.” *General Student Population* Leo Reisberg (2000) reported that, for a general student population of 261,217, increasing numbers of students, especially women, reported feeling overwhelmed and under stress. Working with undergraduate student experience of direct and re-entry students, Michie, Glachan, and Bray (2001) employed a questionnaire design to evaluate global self-esteem, academic self-concept and academic stress, concluding that different experiences of students in higher education cannot be simply explained by age stratification. However, age was found to influence “mind wandering” in a recent study by Zavagnin, Borella, and De Beni (2014). Mind wandering is an example of student inattention during class. Using various measures, this problem found less mind wandering for older adults. The problem of “mind wandering” was described this way by Kopp, Bixler, and D’Mello (2014): The propensity to involuntarily disengage by zoning out or mind wandering (MW) is a common phenomenon that has negative effects on learning. In their study, a successful attempt was made to adapt instruction to individual attributes of students by using supervised machine learning. While this problem needs research in the context of teaching international students, it has produced a useful handbook on mind wandering (Ngnoumen & Langer, 2014). *International Education* Dyal and Dyal (1981) developed a research model for the study of acculturation processes, suggesting they need to consider several dimensions: · Cultural · Ethnic · Interpersonal · Intrapersonal Some examples were changes in mental health status, social networks, cognitive style, social orientation and child rearing values consequent to immigration. While this study was not experimental, it described several approaches to the study of acculturative stress and coping: · Stressful life events · Chronic role strains · Cognitive appraisal (i.e., Lazarus's model of cognitive appraisal and coping processes and their short-term outcomes within stressful encounters) A Hong Kong study of 7,915 first-year tertiary students by Wong, Cheung, Chan, and Tang (2006) assessed depression, anxiety and stress using a 42-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scale. The research found: · Depression in 21% of respondents · Anxiety in 41% · Stress in 27%. The study recommended the need for primary and secondary prevention measures. Bayram and Bilgel (2008) used a Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-42). The test instruments were completed anonymously in the classrooms by 1,617 Turkish students. Analysis found: · Depression in 27.1% · Anxiety 47.1% · Stress levels of moderate severity or above in 27%) of respondents Anxiety/stress scores were higher among female students, while students in the first two years had higher depression, anxiety and stress scores than the others. Lower depression was noted for students satisfied with their education. Yeh and Inose (2003) compared students from Europe with students from Asia. European students were found to have less acculturative stress than students from Africa, Asia, and Central/Latin America. Several predictors of acculturative stress in the latter group were observed: · English fluency · Social support satisfaction · Social connectedness Concentrating on international students, Sandu and Asrabadi (1994) stated:”The pursuit of learning beyond indigenous boundaries is quite old.” This study developed a new 36-item Likert scale to assess the acculturative stress of international students: · Perceived discrimination · Homesickness · Fear · Guilt · Perceived hatred · Stress due to cultural shock. Redmond and Bunyi (1993) evaluated the relationship of intercultural communication competence with stress (and the handling of stress) as reported by international students. This study developed a multidimensional model of intercultural communication competence, including: · Communication effectiveness · Adaptation · Social integration · Language competence · Knowledge of the host culture · Social decentering *Vocational Education* Other studies focused on specific educational settings. *Medical Education * In a review of literature on medical education, Shapiro Shapiro, and Schwartz (2000) found that stress management programs decreased depression and anxiety while they tended to increase spirituality, empathy and coping skills for medical students. *Nursing Education * Focusing on nursing education, Timmins and Kaliszer (2002) found financial constraints and academic concerns the most stressful areas for students. Further, many students reported that relationships with teachers and staff on the ward could cause some degree of stress. Factor analysis revealed the following factors: · Academic · Relationships (teaching staff) · Relationships (clinical) · Financial situation of Patients · Death of a Patient *Conclusions and Future Study* This brief review reveals a host of stress-related problems typically faced by students from countries outside the USA. For this reason, international students may be at a disadvantage in performance as compared with other students. This review spotlights several studies for the purpose of identifying typical problem areas for the purpose of discussion. Further research, including the companion piece to this paper, will suggest methods teachers can use in overcoming these problems. *References* Bayram, N., & Bilgel, N. (2008). The prevalence and socio-demographic correlations of depression, anxiety and stress among a group of university students. *Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology*, *43*(8), 667-672. Clark, B. R. (1960). The" cooling-out" function in higher education. *American journal of Sociology*, 569-576. Dyal, J. A., & Dyal, R. Y. (1981). Acculturation, stress and coping: Some implications for research and education. *International Journal of Intercultural Relations*, *5*(4), 301-328. Kopp, K., Bixler, R., & D’Mello, S. (2014, January). Identifying Learning Conditions that Minimize Mind Wandering by Modeling Individual Attributes. In*Intelligent** Tutoring Systems* (pp. 94-103). Springer International Publishing. Michie, F., Glachan, M., & Bray, D. (2001). An evaluation of factors influencing the academic self-concept, self-esteem and academic stress for direct and re-entry students in higher education. *Educational psychology*, *21*(4), 455-472. Redmond, M. V., & Bunyi, J. M. (1993). The relationship of intercultural communication competence with stress and the handling of stress as reported by international students. *International Journal of Intercultural Relations*, *17*(2), 235-254. Reisberg, L. (2000). Student Stress Is Rising, Especially among Women.*Chronicle of Higher Education*, *46*(21). Sandhu, D. S., & Asrabadi, B. R. (1994). Development of an acculturative stress scale for international students: Preliminary findings1. *Psychological reports*, *75*(1), 435-448. Shapiro, S. L., Shapiro, D. E., & Schwartz, G. E. (2000). Stress management in medical education: a review of the literature. *Academic Medicine*, *75*(7), 748-759. Timmins, F., & Kaliszer, M. (2002). Aspects of nurse education programmes that frequently cause stress to nursing students–fact-finding sample survey.*Nurse Education Today*, *22*(3), 203-211. Wong, J. G., Cheung, E., Chan, K. K., Ma, K. K., & Tang, S. W. (2006). Web‐based survey of depression, anxiety and stress in first‐year tertiary education students in Hong Kong. *Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry*, *40*(9), 777-782. Yeh, C. J., & Inose, M. (2003). International students' reported English fluency, social support satisfaction, and social connectedness as predictors of acculturative stress. *Counselling Psychology Quarterly*, *16* (1), 15-28. Zavagnin, M., Borella, E., & De Beni, R. (2014). When the mind wanders: Age-related differences between young and older adults. *Acta psychologica*, *145*, 54-64.Ie, A., Ngnoumen, C. T., & Langer, E. J. (2014). *The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness*. Wiley. About the Author Bruce L. Cook holds a Ph.D. in Communication from Temple University, an M.A. in Speech Arts from San Diego State University, and a B.A. in Broadcasting from Ohio Wesleyan University. Bruce has founded a variety of websites for writers, including Author-me.com, which he established in 1999. While these efforts continue, he is presently active in various groups seeking world peace. He is Vice President/Founder of Worldwide Peace Organization (WWPO.org, Argentina), Executive Vice President for Publicity for the International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP), and an active member of the Advisory Committee for the Institute of Global Harmony (IGH). His first novel, *Harmony of Nations: 1943 – 2020*, was published in 2011 by JustFiction Edition, Germany. It is available on www.HarmonyofNations.com <http://t.signauxdeux.com/e1t/c/5/f18dQhb0SmZ58dDMPbW2n0x6l2B9nMJW7sM9dn7dK_MMdBzM2-04?t=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.harmonyofnations.com%2F&si=6138819900342272&pi=cf4f8eda-3f44-49c7-b452-5a8ff05262e1>. His second novel is still in development. Bruce lives in Elgin, Illinois with his wife Mary, where they are active in local school and church activities.