Understanding Wellness Practices and Their Relation To University Adjustment among Middle Eastern International College Students In The United States : A Grounded Theory
- Al Ma'Awali, Mahmood
- [University Park, Pennsylvania] : Pennsylvania State University, 2022.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Husain, Faisal
- Graduate Program:
- Restrictions on Access:
- Restricted (PSU Only).
- This dissertation study explored wellness practices and their relation to university adjustment of Middle Eastern International (MEI) undergraduate students. This systematic grounded theory approach included 12 MEI students studying at a northeastern university. Eight men and four women who were full-time MEI students participated in a one-time audio-recorded interview. Participants shared their self-care practices through daily lived experiences as well as how self-care habits related to university adjustment. The resulting model included four primary or key domains of wellness: physical wellness, social wellness, mental wellness, and mindfulness. Results also yielded three secondary domains of wellness: religious wellness, career wellness, and coping wellness. Key domains of wellness practices were shared by all participants while secondary domains were shared by the majority of the sample. Each domain of wellness included several sub-categories through which MEI students engaged in self-care. Wellness practices were not all equally important for MEI students, emphasizing the need for critical attention to the uniqueness of wellness among minority populations. Results also showed that MEI participants went through a process in which their attitudes and knowledge of self-care evolved due to adjustment experiences. Negative attitudes and lack of knowledge about self-care needs significantly contributed to rough adjustment experiences such as homesickness, loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Adjustment experiences helped MEI students develop an appreciation for self-care habits, after which they developed their own routines around self-care. Self-care habits were key to university involvement as they motivated MEI students to attend classes and participate in extra-curricular activities. When looking after themselves, iii students became more focused on their schooling and less worried about failure. Most MEI students also lacked knowledge/skills and had conflicting attitudes towards the importance of self-care. Lacking such a positive mindset and self-care skills resulted in MEI students experiencing a difficult first year. This is the first grounded theory to investigate wellness practices of MEI students. The study highlights the importance of holistic wellness for university involvement for undergraduate MEI students. The study also emphasizes the need to learn about how and what wellness practices look like for minority students in the US. This may help mental health professionals and other stakeholders design intervention programs centered around self-care due to their impact on quality of life and university involvement. Implications for counseling professionals and other professionals are further discussed and suggestions for future research are provided.
- Other Subject(s):
- Dissertation Note:
- Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University 2022.
- Technical Details:
- The full text of the dissertation is available as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file ; Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view the file.
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