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Perceived meaning, pandemic self-efficacy, social support, and discrimination predict trajectories of peri-pandemic growth and distress for international students.
Pavlacic JM, Weber MC, Torres VA, Ho LY, Buchanan EM, Schulenberg SE. Perceived meaning, pandemic self-efficacy, social support, and discrimination predict trajectories of peri-pandemic growth and distress for international students. Psychological trauma : theory, research, practice and policy. 2023 Mar 1; 15(3):469-473.
International students face unique COVID-19-related stressors, such as financial aid loss, limited social support, and discrimination (e.g., verbal harassment, physical assault). Additionally, pandemic and chronic stress research is largely cross-sectional, and trajectories over time remain unclear for psychological and environmental factors predicting distress and peri-pandemic growth. Accordingly, the current study examined trajectories of psychological distress and growth, as well as weekly psychological and environmental predictors of psychological distress and growth, in international students during the early stages of the pandemic.
International students ( = 42) at a U.S. university were surveyed weekly for 14 weeks.
Latent growth mixture modeling resulted in three trajectories over time of distress ( and ) and peri-pandemic growth ( and ). For multilevel models, within-person increases in meaning and self-efficacy as well as between-person changes in discrimination and emotional social support predicted distress. Within-person changes in meaning and self-efficacy and between-person changes in self-efficacy and discrimination predicted peri-pandemic growth.
Despite the stressors they face, many international students demonstrated a trajectory of resilience. Positive coping factors and environmental factors predicted distress or peri-pandemic growth, which can inform interventions and studies examining trajectories of distress during prolonged adversity. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).