Research Paper: Lack of Social Support

Sample Research Paper

Social support is a cause of psychological problems experienced by foreign students. The arrival of foreign students in the host country usually disconnects their previous support system which is familiar to them. This induces these students to create new social support in the host country. According to Pedersen (1991, 33), Mallinckrodt and Leong (1992, 75), and Hayes and Lin (1994, 13) social support affects a foreign students’ well-being. Building a social support in the host country is much more difficult than building it in one’s own home country. (Mallinckrodt and Leong 1992 74) This unpleasant task leads to a feeling of distress and unhappiness and leads to isolation. When compared to local students a study by Hechanova-Alampay et al. (2002, 468) confirms that the international students find less social support.

They found that because of the physical distances the social support for international students was not as strong for the domestic students. This study also found that the more a student interacted with the American population the better was the adjustment.  But the number of international students having local friends was very low and this was because of lack of opportunity. In another study Rajapaksa and Dundes (2002, 21) found that foreign students felt more lonely and homesick and this was not because of lack of close friends, it was because of lack of adequate social network. Compared to this local students did not rely on these social networks. Social support is critical for international students and the lack of it can intensify the culture shock they experience.

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