International students’ collective resilience in crisis: Sense of community reduced anxiety via social contact and social support during lockdown

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Objectives: The role of community in individuals' well-being has been extensively examined in the Western context. However, little is known about how the host community is related to sojourners' well-being in a crisis in an Asian context. The current study aims at exploring international students’ sense of community in the Chinese context under the direct threat of a global health crisis. Methods: Using a cross-sectional sample of 102 international students staying in Wuhan during the 76-day lockdown at the earliest stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the current study explored the relationship between international students’ sense of community and anxiety, and the mediating role of social contact, social support from three key sources in the host community (host university, international students, and Chinese friends). Results: Results showed that participants’ stronger sense of community indirectly reduced anxiety via the role of sources of contact and support from the host community. Conclusions: This study provided further evidence to support the nurturance of the sense of community in community resilience and provided implications on how the host community can help to enhance sojourners’ psychological well-being in a global crisis.

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