Journal of Intercultural Communication, Issue 19, Januari 2009

Pavica Sheldon

Being ill in a foreign country: International studentsí trust in American physicians


A survey with 169 international students was conducted to investigate the relationship between trust in American physicians and studentsí 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 doctorís 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.

Key words: locus of control, cross-cultural adjustment, cultural differences, international students, trust in physicians

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