167594 Enhancing social support, hardiness, and acculturation to improve mental health among Asian Indian International students

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Amar Kanekar, MPH, CHES, CPH, PhD , Health Studies, East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, PA
Manoj Sharma, PhD , Health Promotion & Education, University of Cincinnati & Walden University, Cincinnati, OH
Ashutosh Atri, MD, MS , University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston, Resident, Psychiatry, Houston, TX
International students upon relocation to a foreign country from their home countries undergo a major life event which can cause distress that has the potential to affect their mental health. A recent study found that belonging aspect of social support, prejudice of acculturation scale and commitment and control of hardiness were all predictive of mental health (R2 = 0.523) among international students of Asian Indian origin. It in this context that the purpose of this study was to design and pilot test an internet-based intervention aimed at enhancing the social support, hardiness and acculturation among students of Asian Indian origin at a large Midwestern university. A pretest-posttest randomized design was employed in this study. A pre test survey appraised the hardiness, social support, acculturation and mental health of 60 students who were then randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group was offered online instruction about social support, hardiness and acculturation through Blackboard TM over 2 months.The control group was exposed to an equivalent protocol but the content of web based instruction did not focus on social support, hardiness and acculturation but more on general health awareness and health promotion. The post-test survey was conducted after the completion of the intervention. Repeated measures ANOVA was done on the study variables. Recommendations for replicating such interventions in other groups of international students are presented.

Learning Objectives:
Learning objectives: At the end of this presentation the participants will be able to: 1) Describe how social support, acculturation and hardiness influence mental health. 2) Design an intervention for influencing predictors of mental health. 3) Analyze and critically evaluate the results of this research and apply it to other groups of international students.

Keywords: Mental Health, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conceptualized this study with my coauthors. I have collected and anlayzed data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.