Communication ETDs

Publication Date



Even though many university students travel and study abroad, there is minimal literature and research about supporting these students when they return from their study abroad experience. In order to understand and incorporate the experience into the students everyday life, communication plays a key role in facilitating the transition back into the United States. Thus, the principal purpose of this study was to expand the research on reentry shock and communication by creating a new scale of reentry shock and testing a proposed model of variables to uncover which factor is most important (individual, interpersonal, and cultural). One hundred fifty eight former study abroad students responded to a 63-item survey about their experiences returning from study abroad. The newly created, reliable, and validated scale, the Multifaceted Reentry Shock Scale, was utilized to test hypotheses about the three factors. Even though there was a strong rationale and extant literature support for all three variables to predict reentry shock, the findings only show social support as the most important factor. The new scale provides new ways for researchers to conceptualize and measure reentry shock, while the social support variable is informative for future research as well as study abroad programs at large.




reentry shock, communication, interpersonal, intercultural, study abroad, culture shock

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Oetzel, John

First Committee Member (Chair)

Rao, Nagesh

Second Committee Member

McDermott, Virginia