Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Cultural Intelligence as a Predictor of Acculturative Stress and Psychological Well-Being among College Students

Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Cultural Intelligence as a Predictor of Acculturative Stress and Psychological Well-Being among College Students

Article excerpt

Recently, cultural intelligence has emerged in literature and has attracted the attention of researchers. It is defined as "multifaceted competency consisting of cultural knowledge, the practice of mindfulness, and the repertoire of behavioral skills (Thomas & Inkson, 2004). Yet little is known about the relationship of cultural intelligence to acculturative stress and psychological well-being. The present study may expect the link between cultural intelligence, acculturative stress and psychological wellbeing.

Cultural Intelligence (CQ)

Cultural intelligence is defined as "a person's capability to adapt effectively to new cultural contexts" and therefore refers to "a form of situated intelligence where intelligently adaptive behaviors are culturally bound to the values and beliefs of a given society or culture" (Earley & Ang, 2003). Individuals having higher CQ can easily navigate and understand unfamiliar cultures, theoretically, they are expected to be more successful when working and living in countries other than their own. Despite promising evidence on its predictive ability on cross-cultural effectiveness (e.g., cross-cultural adjustment, job performance, intention to return early), however, due to the newness of the CQ construct, the factors that could predict CQ construct are still limited in the literature.

Earley and Ang (2003) conceptualized a multifactor concept of CQ that includes mental (meta-cognitive and cognitive), motivational, and behavioral components. Meta-cognitive CQ reflects the processes individuals use to acquire and understand cultural knowledge, including knowledge of and control over individual thinking process relating to the culture (Van Dyne, & Koh, 2006). While meta-cognitive CQ focuses on higher-order cognitive process, cognitive CQ reflects knowledge of the norms, practices and conventions in different cultures (Ang et al., 2007). This includes knowledge of the economic, legal, and social systems of different cultures and subcultures (Triandis, 2006) and knowledge of basic frameworks of cultural values. Motivational CQ reflects magnitude and direction of energy applied toward learning about and functioning in cross-cultural situations (Ang, Van Dyne, & Koh, 2006). Ang, Van Dyne, Koh, and Ng (2004) conceptualized motivational CQ as a specific form of self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation in cross-cultural situations. Lastly, behavioral CQ is the capability to exhibit appropriate verbal and nonverbal actions when interacting with people from different cultures (Ang et al., 2006). Those with high behavioral CQ exhibit situational appropriate behaviours based on their broad range of verbal and nonverbal capabilities, such as exhibiting culturally appropriate words, tone, gestures and facial expressions (Gudykunst et al., 1988, cited in Ang et al., 2007).

Despite the newness of the construct, empirical research on CQ is promising. Ang et al. (2007), found CQ significantly explaining the variance in performance and adjustment over and above effects of demographic characteristics and general cognitive ability among international executives and foreign professionals. Specifically, Ang et al. (2007) demonstrated that mental (meta-cognitive and cognitive) CQ significantly predicts cultural judgment and decision making and task performance; motivational CQ significantly predicts general adjustment in intercultural environments, while behavioural CQ related to task performance and general adjustment in intercultural environment. Templer, Tay, and Chandrasekar (2006) found that motivational CQ significantly predicts cross-cultural adjustment of foreign professionals, over and above prejob assignments and interventions such as realistic job previews and preview of realistic living conditions.

Acculturative Stress

Most migrant students have experienced many stressors during the process of adapting to a new society. For example, students new to the culture, which is different from their native culture, may experience the severing of ties to family and friends in the culture of origin. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.