Contact and Attitudes Toward International Students in Australia: Intergroup Anxiety and Intercultural Communication Emotions as Mediators

Anita Mak, Patricia M. Brown, Danielle Wadey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract The current study investigated the impact of intercultural contact between domestic and international students on attitudes toward international students, and potential mediators of this relationship. A total of 247 Australian-born domestic undergraduates completed a survey of the quantity and quality of their contact with international students, levels of intergroup anxiety (IA) and intercultural communication emotions (ICE), and their attitudes toward international students. Positive quality of intercultural contact, less IA, and more positive ICE were all related to more positive attitudes toward international students. In addition, ICE mediated the relationship between positive quality of contact and attitudes, and between IA and attitudes. Quality of contact exerted both direct and indirect effects (via IA and intercultural communications emotions) on intergroup attitudes. Results highlight the importance of addressing communication barriers and the emotions associated with these when promoting positive interactions between domestic and international students. Suggestions are made for a theoretical integration of intergroup and communication-based perspectives when considering attitudes toward linguistically diverse outgroups like international students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-504
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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