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Article

Strengthening University Student Wellbeing: Language and Perceptions of Chinese International Students

Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3010, Australia
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5538; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155538
Received: 30 June 2020 / Revised: 23 July 2020 / Accepted: 28 July 2020 / Published: 31 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Contribution of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing Literacy)
Students at the tertiary education level in Australia are at increased risk of experiencing high levels of psychological distress, with international students at particularly high risk for poor adjustment. As mental health and wellbeing strongly correlate with students’ academic performance and general overseas experience, a growing number of studies focus on what universities can do to effectively support students’ wellbeing. However, assumptions are made about what wellbeing is, strategies primarily focus on treating mental ill-health, and treatment approaches fail to account for cultural differences. This study aimed to explore how Chinese international students understand wellbeing, the language used about and for wellbeing, and activities that students believe strengthen their own and others’ wellbeing. Eighty-four Chinese international students completed the online survey, and a subset of 30 students participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using thematic, phenomenographic, and language analyses. Physical health and mental health appeared as the key components that participants believed defined wellbeing, and intrapersonal activities were perceived as the primary approach used to strengthen wellbeing. Findings help broaden the understanding of wellbeing concept from the population of tertiary students, identify students’ perspectives of activities that strengthen their wellbeing, offer a snapshot of the language used by Chinese students around wellbeing, and provide new data of population health through a wellbeing lens. View Full-Text
Keywords: wellbeing; lay perspectives; language; Chinese international students; tertiary education; mental health; wellbeing literacy wellbeing; lay perspectives; language; Chinese international students; tertiary education; mental health; wellbeing literacy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, L.; Kern, M.L.; Oades, L.G. Strengthening University Student Wellbeing: Language and Perceptions of Chinese International Students. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5538. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155538

AMA Style

Huang L, Kern ML, Oades LG. Strengthening University Student Wellbeing: Language and Perceptions of Chinese International Students. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(15):5538. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155538

Chicago/Turabian Style

Huang, Lanxi, Margaret L. Kern, and Lindsay G. Oades. 2020. "Strengthening University Student Wellbeing: Language and Perceptions of Chinese International Students" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 15: 5538. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155538

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