The Moderating Role of Social Support on the Stress-Distress Relation Among Asian International Students: A Test of the Matching Hypothesis

Doctoral Dissertation


As a test of the matching hypothesis, the buffering effects of social support were examined on the stress-distress relation among N = 239 undergraduate international students from Asia. International students can experience both unique stressors that are specific to international students and general (i.e., college) stressors that are common to most college students. The negative impact of these stressors on psychological distress may be reduced by appropriate social support from similar others. It was hypothesized that international and co-national support would moderate the relation between unique stressors and psychological distress, and that college support would moderate the relation between college stressors and psychological distress. Exploratory analyses using implicit social support and post-hoc analyses using more specific outcome variables were also conducted. Although the results were not consistent with the original hypotheses, results from the post-hoc analyses indicated that college support interacted with college stressors to exacerbate the relation between stressors and anxiety and phobic anxiety symptoms, respectively. Implications for these unexpected findings are discussed, particularly in regard to outreach with Asian undergraduate international students.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-05212010-144142

Author Paul Youngbin Kim
Advisor Irene Park
Contributor Scott Monroe , Committee Member
Contributor Irene Park , Committee Chair
Contributor Thomas Merluzzi, Committee Member
Contributor Alexandra Corning , Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2009-08-26

Submission Date 2010-05-21
  • United States of America

  • social support

  • international students

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


Please Note: You may encounter a delay before a download begins. Large or infrequently accessed files can take several minutes to retrieve from our archival storage system.