The effects of psychoeducational intervention on the adjustment, coping self-efficacy and psychological distress levels of international students in Turkey

Elemo A. S., Türküm A. S.

International Journal of Intercultural Relations, vol.70, pp.7-18, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2019.02.003
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Intercultural Relations
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.7-18
  • Keywords: Adjustment, Coping self-efficacy, International students, Psychoeducational intervention, Psychological adaptation, Psychological distress, Turkey
  • Istanbul Gelisim University Affiliated: Yes


The global increase in international students’ population necessitates identifying their needs and engaging in practices that may support their adjustment. Along with excitement, positive attitudes and high expectations about higher education and life abroad, international students might also experience dread as they prepare to start a new life. Challenges in adjustment during the transition and developmental issues might contribute to such students’ susceptibility of intense emotional experiences, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Nevertheless, limited research has been conducted on interventions to facilitate transition and adjustment. Indeed, there is a dearth of psychological interventions that enhance the adjustment of international students in Turkey. This study involves a program and examines how effective this program is in enhancing the adjustment levels of international students. With a 2 × 3 controlled quasi-experimental group design, the participants in the experiment group underwent eight weekly sessions of a cognitive-behavioral-oriented psychoeducational program. The posttest results indicated significant differences in coping self-efficacy favoring the experiment group. However, no significant differences were noticed between the two groups in terms of psychological adaptation and distress. Follow-up results revealed significant changes in all the three measures favoring the experiment group. The findings indicated a positive long-term effect of the psychoeducational program in enhancing the international students’ adjustment levels. Consequently, implications for college counseling service providers in terms of designing psychoeducational programs were discussed.