Journal of Socio-Informatics
Online ISSN : 2432-2156
Print ISSN : 1882-9171
ISSN-L : 1882-9171
Refereed Original Paper
The Effects of Generalized Trust and Group Identification on Social Support Networks and Feelings of Stress in Japan: Comparing Face-to-face and Instant Messaging
Shaoyu YE
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2021 Volume 14 Issue 1 Pages 1-15


This study focused on international students (ISs) studying in Japan and investigated (a) the effects of their generalized trust and group identification on their social support networks (SSNs) with Japanese people, same-language speakers, and other-language speakers; (b) their SSNs formed through face-to-face (FTF) communication and instant messaging (IM) usage; and (c) whether these relationships differed between Chinese ISs and other ISs, as over 60% of ISs in Japan are Chinese, who more easily form in-groups than other ISs. A self-report questionnaire survey was conducted in 2018, and the following results were observed based on 209 valid responses. (a) ISs with higher levels of generalized trust felt less stress, while ISs with higher levels of group identification felt more stress. (b) ISs with higher levels of generalized trust were able to receive more social support from Japanese people and other-language speakers, but only social support from Japanese people helped decrease their feelings of stress in Japan. (c) ISs with higher levels of group identification tended to form larger SSNs with same-language speakers and received more social support from them, which in turn, led them to feel more stress. (d) The above results were found both in SSNs formed via FTF communication and through IM usage. (e) For non-Chinese ISs, their group identification did not lead them to receive more social support from the same-language speakers. The results suggest that it is necessary to distinguish the effects of generalized trust toward out-group members between Japanese people and otherlanguage speakers when examining ISs' intercultural adaptation.

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