Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2021

Thesis Director

Eric S. Davidson

Thesis Committee Member

Catherine L. Polydore

Thesis Committee Member

Ryan C. Hendrickson

Thesis Committee Member

Andrew Robinson


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between acculturative stress and religion/spirituality of international students. This study utilized Sandhu and Asrabadi’s (1994) Acculturative Stress Scale for International Students (ASSIS) as well as the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire (SCSORF) created by Plante and Boccaccini (1997). Much research exists on how international students adapt and acculturate to a host country. This research will add to the body of literature that exists regarding how international students use their religion/spirituality to deal with acculturative stress. Students in this study were asked a number of questions from the ASSIS and SCSORF rating the level of their stress and religious faith engagement. Results indicate that as acculturative stress increased, religious faith engagement increased. Additionally, results showed that international students experience mostly moderate levels of acculturative stress and that the religious faith engagement of male international students was no different than the religious faith engagement of female international students. Chapter five includes additional findings, conclusions, discussion, and recommendations.