Acculturative Stress, Social Media Use, and English Ability among International Students in the U.S.
Abstract: International students are assets to higher education institutions, and they need support in transitioning to the U.S. and dealing with acculturative stress. Previous research indicates that there is a connection between acculturative stress, social media use, and English ability among international students. However, the findings are still inconsistent. To further examine the relationship among these three factors, an online survey was distributed to international students attending a mid-size university in the U.S. The survey consisted of 30 items including Likert scales and one open-ended question. The results showed that Instagram and Facebook were two most used social media by international students. Social media were used more frequently for social communication than academic purposes. Consistent with previous research, higher level of English ability was related to less acculturative stress. There was a strong, positive association between self-reported reading ability and the use of English social media for social purposes.