Being ill in a foreign country: International students’ trust in American physicians

Pavica Sheldon (1)
(1) Department of Communication Studies, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA , United States


A survey with 169 international students was conducted to investigate the relationship between trust in American physicians and students’ locus of control, nationality, sex, and years of being in the United States, the number of American friends, the number of international friends, and the number of doctor’s visits. Results revealed that international students with an internal locus of control had a greater degree of trust in American physicians than students with an external locus of control. Students with more American friends did not trust their physicians more than students with fewer American friends. International students who stayed in the United States for a longer period also did not trust their physicians more than students who stayed for a shorter time. No difference existed in trust between male and female and between European and non-European students. Findings are somewhat opposite of what we would expect based on other cross-cultural adjustment studies.

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Pavica Sheldon (Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Pavica Sheldon, Department of Communication Studies, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Pavica Sheldon is a doctoral student at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, LA, USA. Originally from Croatia, Pavica received a Masters in mass communication at LSU in May 2006 and is now working toward a PhD in the Department of Communication Studies. Her research interests include intercultural communication, media psychology, and social networking.

Sheldon, P. (2009). Being ill in a foreign country: International students’ trust in American physicians. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 9(1), 1–07.

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