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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 520-529

Relationships of acculturative stress, perceived stress, and social support with oral health-related quality of life among international students in Malaysia: A structural equation modelling


1 Department Community Oral Health and Clinical Prevention, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Department Community and Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Benghazi, Libya, North Africa
2 Department Community Oral Health and Clinical Prevention, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Roslan Saub
Department of Community Oral Health and Clinical Prevention, Faculty of Dentistry, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_192_20

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Aim: This study aimed to investigate the relationships between acculturative stress, perceived stress, social support, and subjective oral health outcomes among international graduate students in Malaysian public universities. Materials and Methods: A total of 312 international graduate students completed a web-based questionnaire, including measures of acculturative stress (ASSIS-36), perceived stress scale (PSS-4), social support (MSPSS-12), oral health perceptions (global rating item), and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL, OIDP-8). The hypotheses of the conceptual model were tested using structural equation modeling-partial least squares (SEM-PLS) with the support of SmartPLS. Results: Twenty-seven percent (27.1%) of the variance in OHRQoL was explained by acculturative stress, perceived stress, social support, and oral health perceptions. The path coefficient between oral health perception and OHRQoL was the strongest (β = –0.385, P < 0.001). Acculturative stress directly influenced OHRQoL (β = 0.20, P = 0.009) and indirectly through perceived stress (β = 0.05, P = 0.019). Social support mediated the relationship between perceived stress and OHRQoL (β = 0.046, P = 0.02). The overall predictive power of the model was 23%. Conclusion: Results indicated that acculturative stress, perceived stress, and social support are among the predictors of OHRQoL. Oral health perceptions and acculturative stress were the most significant predictors that contributed the largest amount to the model. The findings emphasize the potential role of psychosocial factors in relation to oral health. The empirical evidence of this study could facilitate the planning of targeted strategies that address stress reduction and social support. Such strategies might be a new promising way to enhance OHRQoL as these elements can be modified and response to interventions.


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