International students’ cross-cultural adjustment: social selection or social influence? Academic Article uri icon


  • International education provides students with an opportunity to develop new social networks while they fit in to the new culture. In a three-wave longitudinal study, we investigated how social networks and psychological adjustment coevolve within a group of international students enrolled in a coursework degree at the tertiary level. Using the Stochastic Actor-Oriented Model (SAOM), we identified the occurrences of social selection based on the levels of psychological and sociocultural adjustment. More specifically, students tended to deselect classmates who were dissimilar in their level of psychological adjustment and to befriend those who differed in their levels of sociocultural adjustment. In contrast, little evidence was found to suggest that features of social networks influenced students’ adjustment. Potential applications of this new method to future acculturation research are suggested.

publication date

  • 2020