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Stress Coping of Chinese International Students in Face of COVID 19 Pandemic: Cultural Characteristics

Mian Xia1,2,3,*, Changming Duan4

1 School of Psychology, China Central Normal University, Wuhan, 430079, China
2 Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior (CCNU), Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
3 Key Laboratory of Human Development and Mental Health of Hubei Province, Wuhan, 430079, China
4 Department of Educational Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA

* Corresponding Author: Mian Xia. Email: email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Psychological assistance for public during the pandemic of COVID-19)

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2020, 22(3), 159-172.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the stress and coping strategy of Chinese International Students (CISs) during the epidemic, and to explore the relationship between identification with Chinese cultural beliefs and coping strategies, positive experience, negative emotion and need for psychological support. Two hundred and thirty CISs participated in the study by filling out a series of questionnaires that we designed. The series of questionnaires contained six scales: Pandemic Related Stress (PRS), Identification with Chinese Cultural Beliefs (ICCB), Stress Coping Strategy (SCS), Positive Experience (PE) and Negative Emotion (NE) and Need for Psychological Support (NPS). The results showed that CISs experienced an above moderate level of direct and indirect pandemic related stress. To cope with the stress, participants valued active coping and making self-adjustment. The regression analysis shows ICCB could positively predict coping strategy and positive experience, and negatively predict negative emotions. ICCB is also positively related to the need for psychological support. That is to say, the identification with Chinese culture beliefs could help CISs use positive strategies to cope with the epidemic and more likely to have positive experience and reduce negative emotions. We believe that the cultural identity and cultural values of Chinese students studying abroad may have helped them to effectively choose their responses and strategies in the face of the serious challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Cite This Article

Xia, M., Duan, C. (2020). Stress Coping of Chinese International Students in Face of COVID 19 Pandemic: Cultural Characteristics. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 22(3), 159–172.


cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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