The Role of Identity In International Students' Psychological Well-Being In the United States: A Model of Depression Level, Identity Gaps, Discrimination, and Acculturation

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Communication Studies


This study examines contributing factors to international students' depression levels, focusing on the gaps between different aspects of identity. Two types of identity gaps, one between personal and enacted identities and the other between personal and relational identities, were selected for this study. The data were collected from 218 international students from various countries. A hypothesized path model was tested, which includes sequential relationships from acculturation level and perceived discrimination to the two types of identity gaps to depression level. The mediation effects of the two types of identity gaps between the two exogenous variables and depression level were tested. Also, the moderation effects of social support and social undermining were tested. Both acculturation level and perceived discrimination significantly predicted the two types of identity gaps. The personal-enacted identity gap significantly predicted depression level and mediated the effects of acculturation and perceived discrimination, but personal-relational identity gap exhibited neither effects. The only significant moderation effects were those of social undermining, which moderated the relationship between perceived discrimination and depression level. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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International Journal of Intercultural Relations





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