Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Radhika Krishnamurthy

Second Advisor

Jessica L. Wildman

Third Advisor

Theodore G. Petersen

Fourth Advisor

Robert A. Taylor


Research has shown that culture can contribute to differences in personality and shape the way individuals perceive and function in the world. International students are among those affected by cultural differences as they arrive in a new country and go through a period of adjustment. Saudi Arabian students currently make up a large proportion of international students in the United States. Due to wide-spread prejudiced American beliefs about Middle Easterners, they may be exposed to higher levels of discrimination, which can contribute to adjustment problems and increased levels of distress. As a result, some of these students may seek out mental health services. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-3 (MMPI-3) is a measure of personality and maladjustment frequently used in college counseling settings. This study was designed to establish reference group data for Saudi Arabian college students, examine differences in MMPI-3 scores between Saudi Arabian international and domestic American college students, and to investigate the relationship between levels of perceived prejudice and acculturation on Saudi Arabian students’ scores. The primary sample consisted of Saudi Arabian international students (N = 47) and the comparison sample consisted of domestic American students (N = 71), both from private universities in Florida. Participants were administered the MMPI-3 online and the Saudi Arabian student sample was also administered the American-International Relations Scale (AIRS) to assess levels of acculturation and perceived prejudice. The Saudi Arabian sample produced a mean T-score of at least one standard deviation over the mean (60-64) on validity scales Uncommon Virtues (L) and Infrequent Psychopathology Responses (Fp), as well as three of the substantive scales: Thought Dysfunction (THD), Aberrant Experiences (RC8), and Psychoticism (PSYC). No scores exceeded one standard deviation above the normative mean among the Caucasian American comparison sample and there were no low scores (T-score ≤ 40) in either sample. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) results followed by a series of univariate analyses of variance (ANOVAs) revealed significant differences in scores between the Saudi Arabian sample and the Caucasian American comparison sample on ten of the substantive scales of the MMPI-3, with higher scores for the Saudi Arabian sample on six scales: Thought Dysfunction (THD), Ideas of Persecution (RC6), Aberrant Experiences (RC8), Disaffiliativeness (DSF), Social Avoidance (SAV), and Psychoticism (PSYC). Results of a Mann-Whitney U Test revealed significant differences on two additional scales: Suicidal/Death Ideation (SUI) and Introversion/Low Positive Emotionality (INTR). Higher scores were found for the Saudi Arabian sample on the INTR scale, while the Caucasian American sample scored higher on the SUI scale. Perceived prejudice scores were significantly correlated with Emotional/Internalizing Dysfunction (EID), Suicidal/Death Ideation (SUI), Family Problems (FML), Demoralization (RCd), and Introversion/Low Positive Emotionality (INTR) scores among the Saudi Arabian sample and were most predictive of MMPI-3 scores on EID and SUI substantive scales and the F validity scale. The relationship between perceived prejudice and MMPI-3 scores was not mediated by acculturation level. Implications of these findings were discussed.