Interview Structure and Format
The interview agenda progressed from general to specific questions, with the assumption that valid data are related with the purpose of the current study but expressed in the students’ own words. For example, I asked the students first to reflect on their personal life in America and then if they suffered from any stress? If so, what would they say was the most stressful about their life in the United States? How would they characterize their stress? What conditions (social, cultural, academic, financial, visa issues, and marriage or dating) they believe tended to account for their stress? How do they handle the stress over time? I asked them to name a particular item (parents, friends, endurance, take it easy, counselors help, church, etc.) which they believe to be the most important relief of their stress and then asked them to rate how much this item could help them to successfully conquer the stress or how the unavailability of that item would cause them fail to handle the stress. The interview questions (see Appendix B) provided a basic structure for the interview but were not to be considered an exhaustive list of potential topics or areas of investigation. The questions were compiled based upon a review of the literature. Questions 1a to 1g are questions regarding whether the participant experienced stress; questions 2a to 2g are questions regarding participant’s experience of any stress resulting from financial, visa, study, cultural adjustments, dating, family relationships, and other concerns as well as the behavior adaptations to these problems; and questions 3a to 3d are questions regarding participant’s coping strategies and support mechanisms.
The interview agenda progressed from general to specific questions, with the assumption that valid data, expressed in the students’ own words, can be obtained. The interview questions (see Appendix B) provided a basic structure for the interview, but were never considered to be an exhaustive list of potential topics or areas to be explored in this investigation. The interview questions used were based upon a review of the literature. Bogdan and Taylor (1975) suggested, in order to communicate in an effective manner, the interview should be conducted at the participants’ level of language. Thus, all interviews were conducted in Mandarin Chinese.