Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

Geraldine Holmes


Foreign students frequently encounter problems in adjusting to their new social environment when studying at institutions of higher education. The purpose of this study was to describe the level of social difficulty experienced by foreign students from different regions of the world while studying in the United States. The target population for this study consisted of 748 undergraduate foreign students enrolled at Louisiana. State University (LSU) in the spring of 2000. The accessible population was all students enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL). The sample consisted of the 178 undergraduate students enrolled in English 1004 and 1005 (ESL) classes during the spring 2000 semester. The number of actual participants was 105 which represented 59% of the sample. The instrument used in this study was a Social Situation Questionnaire adapted from Bochner (1982). Results showed that although comparisons did not reveal statistically significant differences between groups, a substantively and statistically significant model existed which enhanced the researcher's ability to accurately explain social difficulty experienced by foreign students enrolled at LSU. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the model that explained the subjects' social difficulty level. Variables which made significant contributions to the model included: whether or not the student was Asian, whether or not the student was a senior, length of stay in the U.S., and age. It was concluded that undergraduate foreign students at LSU experience low levels of social difficulty based on the overall social mean score of 1.81. Further research for the refinement of the model was recommended.