Acculturation stress and acculturation strategies: Mainland Chinese undergraduate students in the Education University of Hong Kong

Pengjin WANG

Research output: ThesisHonours Projects (HP)


The Hong Kong government strikes to enhance Hong Kong’s status as a regional education hub, where more and more non-local students are joining Hong Kong’s tertiary institutions, and the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) is of no exception. Under the discourse of Hong Kong-mainland China conflicts, mainland Chinese undergraduate students as the largest proportion in non-local student population may need extra efforts integrating into EdUHK, which is the process of acculturation that may lead to students’ acculturation stress. Students as sojourners may apply acculturation strategies to cope with the stress. This paper aims to find out, to what extent they are suffering from acculturation stress from different sources, and what their acculturation strategies are to cope with the acculturation stress. A mixed-method approach is adopted to explore the research question. A survey of 95 mainland Chinese undergraduates in the EdUHK was conducted with the adapted Acculturation Stress Scale for Chinese, examining the sources of acculturation stress, including language insufficiency, social isolation, perceived discrimination, academic pressure and guilt towards family. The quantitative phase helped to identify three informants with high acculturation stress and three with low acculturation stress for that qualitative phase, to further explore what acculturation strategies they applied for different sources of stress. It is found that students were suffering the acculturation stress in terms of Academic pressure, Language insufficiency and Social isolation, while Guilt toward family and Perceived discrimination might not be essential sources. To reduce the acculturation stress, varied acculturation strategies were applied to different sources of stress. They would apply Integration strategy towards Academic pressure, Separation strategy for Cantonese insufficiency, Assimilation strategy for English insufficiency and Separation for Social isolation. Although they might experience little discrimination, students still experienced conflicts in cross-cultural communication and a resilience model was established.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationBachelor of Education (Honours)
  • QIAN, Haiyan 錢海燕, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Honours Project (HP)
  • Bachelor of Education (Honours) (English Language) - Secondary (Five-year Full-time)
  • Programme code: A5B059
  • Course code: EDA4046


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