Studying 'a thousand miles away': The motivational implications of cross-cultural transitions

Journal article


McInerney, Dennis and King, Ronnel B.. (2012). Studying 'a thousand miles away': The motivational implications of cross-cultural transitions. Advances in Motivation and Achievement. 17, pp. 205 - 240. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0749-7423(2012)0000017011
AuthorsMcInerney, Dennis and King, Ronnel B.
Abstract

The international student population is steadily increasing. However, we know little about what happens to their academic motivation as they transit from their home culture into a new host culture. This gap in knowledge needs to be addressed given that motivation is a key driver of academic success. The aim of this chapter is to examine factors that can influence international students' academic motivation during and after transition. Three broad theoretical frameworks drawn from the acculturation literature – culture learning theory, stress and coping theory, and social identification theory – are proffered to help understand the impact of the transition on student motivation. It seems inevitable that student motivation will generally decline during the early phases of the transition. This may be due to the differences in sociocultural norms between the home and host culture, the variety of stressors that international students face, and the potential impact of stereotyping and discrimination. However, the extent and duration of this decline could be moderated by a variety of personal (e.g., language proficiency, personality, acculturation strategies, reasons for going abroad) and contextual (e.g., cultural distance, social support) factors. Examples of intervention programs that can buffer against motivational decline are given. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Year2012
JournalAdvances in Motivation and Achievement
Journal citation17, pp. 205 - 240
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN0749-7423
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/S0749-7423(2012)0000017011
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84888113187
Page range205 - 240
Research GroupInstitute for Positive Psychology and Education
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
EditorsS. A.Karabenick and T. C.Urdan
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