Date of Award


Degree Name



W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Chris Swindell

Second Advisor

Robert Rabe

Third Advisor

Janet Dooley


Due to the development of technology and globalization, the media environment for international students has been dramatically changing. International students who use the Internet now have more access to media produced in both home countries and host countries; they have more options to select media produced in either country compared to students of the past who lived without the Internet. Many scholars presume the media environment directly influences international students’ lives in the host countries, including their level of cultural adjustment. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between media use and cultural adaptation among international students based on uses and gratifications theory and U-Curve model of cultural adaptation (Lysgaard, 1955). Participants in this study were 62 international students at Marshall University. The online, paper-based, and in-person surveys collected data about their media use, categories of American news of interest to them, and their motivation to use American media. Participants were classified into four stages of cultural adaptation, which were self-reported: Honeymoon Stage, Culture Shock Stage, Recovery Stage, and Adjustment Stage (Lysgaard, 1955). Using Kruskal-Wallis Test and Spearman’s rank order correlation, five items had correlation with cultural adaptation stages (the frequency of using American news media, interest in news about politics, interest in news about economics, the total number of news categories of interest, and the motivation of for self-improvement for using American media). Moreover, all five items slightly followed the U-curve shape the same as Lysgaard’s (1955) U-Curve model of cultural adaptation.


Mass media -- Influence.

Students, Foreign -- Education (Higher)