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Data Sources and Collection Procedures

Quantitative Data Collection

Survey Construction

I developed question items using the Chinese students’ adjustment research literature review, survey research of adjustment problems among college students (Perkins 1977; Xia 1992; Ye 1992; Wang 1992), and Chinese cross-cultural studies (Chuang 1988; Zhang 1992). All of this literature contribute to the content and construct validity of current questionnaire.

In terms of question wording, to ensure the question would be interpreted in the same way by every respondent, I kept the vocabulary level of my questions as low as possible and avoided specialized jargon that would be likely to be misunderstood by some of the Chinese students. When there is no alternative to using specialized terms, I made sure that they were defined on the questionnaire. For instance, I defined the word “cultural shock” as the “the stress resulting from losing familiar signs and symbols and being unable to understand American norms or customs” (Oberg 1960; Bock 1970). Also, to guarantee respondents would not misunderstand some questions only because of the language translation, both English and Chinese version were provided.

To determine the format of this questionnaire, several questionnaire design studies have been reviewed including Babble (1973), Berdie and Anderson (1974), Converse and Presser (1986), Foddy (1993), Moser and Kalton (1972), and Warwick and Linger (1975). In the end, a rating scale questionnaire was chosen as the instrument for the current study.

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