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Substance use and social networks of international students

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Description: The purpose of this study was to compare international university students' substance use and social network quality (peers' risky and protective behaviors) prior to leaving their home countries (one month before they came to the U.S.) and again while currently living in the U.S. (based upon their current life at Villanova University.). A non-experimental design was used to test changes in social network quality and substance use with first-year undergraduate and graduate international students. A total of 52 students participated in the study. Results show a significant increase from prior substance use to current substance use (t (46) = -10.16, p <.0001) after studying and living in the U.S. In addition, prior and current substance use and prior and current social network were strongly correlated, r = .981, p < .01 and r = .815, p < .01, respectively. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicates that prior substance use was associated with a significant proportion of the variance in current substance use (Adjusted R 2 = .967, p <.0001). In addition, in a second hierarchical multiple regression analysis, the standardized beta coefficients, indicates that only prior social network and current substance use contributed to the variance in current social network quality (Adjusted R2 = .743, p < .000). The findings of the present study introduce a new insight and perspective on international students' transitions into a new host culture, and provide a framework for investigating social networks and substance use of international students while living and studying abroad. The implications of these findings for counselors, educators, and international officers working with international students are discussed. Keywords: International Students, Substance Use, Social Networks
Language: English
Format: Degree Work