Analysing change among study abroad students. A novel application of the person-centred approach to alcohol use patterns

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Abstract

This study re-analysed longitudinal data on international students’ alcohol use to demonstrate the practical value of person-centred statistical techniques, such as Latent Class Analysis (LCA) and its longitudinal extension Latent Transition Analysis (LTA). These techniques offer new analytic perspectives, can reveal typologies (i.e., subpopulations characterized by different profiles) and examine change (i.e., transition probabilities) in outcomes of interest. The use of these approaches remains limited in the intercultural research field, however. A step-by-step guide to the use of LCA and LTA is presented. The analyses demonstrate how alcohol use profiles can be identified, how transitions across profiles as students move from home to overseas can be examined and are affected by students’ motivation to study abroad and their adjustment to the host environment. The validity for study abroad students of the four-class model of drinker types found in other populations was confirmed. Results, however, challenge the dominant view that most students increase alcohol intake during study abroad experiences, and indicate that moderate drinkers are at greatest risk of transitioning to heavy drinking as they travel abroad. Implications and suggestions for use of these statistical techniques by intercultural research specialists are discussed.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)220-231
Numero di pagine12
RivistaInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume82
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021

Keywords

  • Person-centred approach
  • Latent class analysis
  • Latent transition analysis
  • Psychological adjustment
  • Alcohol use
  • Motivations to study abroad
  • Study abroad

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