Acculturative Stress, Social Support, and Physical Activity among International Students in the United States



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The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which acculturative stress is associated with physical activity levels of international students, the influence of types and sources of social support on their physical activity levels, and the degree to which social support affects the relationship between their physical activity levels and acculturative stress. 215 Korean international students from Bryan-College Station, Texas, were recruited for this study. The results revealed that only the stressor of English language difficulty, one of acculturative stress, negatively influenced physical activity levels. Social support was positively associated with physical activity levels. Finally, in the role of social support between acculturative stress and physical activity levels, the support of Korean friends and American friends positively affected vigorous physical activity level. These results suggest that social support for international students is likely to be one of most important factors for their physical activity levels. Since the convenient sample of Korean international students may not be representative of international students in the United States, further study needs representative samples in order to establish the generality of international students studying in the United States. Moreover, future research is necessary to examine various sources and types of social support which influence physical activity of international students.