Summary

Brisset, C., (2010). Students' adaptation in transition. Sarrebruck, Allemagne : Editions Universitaires Européennes.

This dissertation focuses on students’ adaptation in transition. It is based on a French-Canadian comparison between freshmen students and international Vietnamese students. With the aim to shed a new light on the process of their adaptation, we integrated two theoretical models which allowed us to distinguish two levels of adaptation, one considered as “local” and common to all students, the other as “international” and specific to Vietnamese students (Black, Mendenhall & Oddou, 1991), in which are embedded two dimensions: psychological adaptation and sociocultural adaptation (Ward & Searle, 1991). Anxious personality, followed by adult attachment and daily hassles, appeared as the root of students’ adaptation both at a psychological and sociocultural level. In addition to these “local” aspects, Vietnamese have to deal with two cross-cultural issues: their identification with culture of origin and the different social networks in their environment. Results also highlighted for all students a weakening in their working models of attachment, cultural differences in their potential to form a student body and to socialize within the university and, the existence of individuals “at risk”: these students appeared to be unable to cope effectively with the stress induced by the transition.