International Psychology

GLO Abroad

Known by a variety of names (e.g., education abroad, study abroad or study away, global or international immersion learning, global or international service learning, short-term mission trips), a primary focus of our research team is the investigation of global learning (GLO) and psycho-social-spiritual (PSO or PSSO) outcomes of those who engage inBikos RVT re-entry debriefing retreat 2014 a culturally dislocating experience for study, service, or both.

In June 2009 our RVT launched a mixed methods (i.e., qualitative and quantitative), longitudinal, investigation of the psycho-social-spiritual-educational outcomes of SPU students who travelled internationally for traditional study abroad and faith-based global service. We assessed the students 3 months prior to departure, and then 2-weeks, 6-weeks, 3-months, 6-months, 9-months, and 12-months after their reentry. Presently, we have from one to seven waves of data more than 250 SPU international immersion learning students (and a control group of 70 students who did not travel internationally). We stopped new data collection in Fall 2017 and are patiently waiting while the final enrollees complete their year of re-entry assessments.  In the 2018-19 academic year we will begin cleaning and analyzing this monster dataset.  There are an unlimited number of ways to investigate the relationships between predictor variables, the GLO and PSO outcomes, and the mechanisms that explain them.

Bikos, L. H., Yamamoto, M., Dykhouse, E., & Sallee, O. (2016). Integrating off-campus international experience into on-campus coursework and research.  In D. Gross, K. Abrams, & C. Enns (Eds.), Internationalizing the Undergraduate Psychology Curriculum:  Practical lessons learned at home and abroad (pp. 199-216).  Washington D. C.:  American Psychological Association.

Bikos, L. H., & Dykhouse, E. C. (2016, January).  Cultivating global learning and psychosocial growth in international immersion learning and service-learning returnees.  Webinar hosted by Division 52/International Psychology, American Psychological Association.

Bikos, L. H.  & Dykhouse, E. C. (2015, December).  Re-entry friction: Exploring the potential to maximize gains from international immersion learning.  Psychology International, 26(4), 4-6. Available from

Bikos, L. H., Rodney, H., Gowen, M., Yamamoto, Y., & Dykhouse, E. C. (2015). Effects of searching, faith, and time on the presence of calling in international service learning returnees.  Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 34 (4), 325-339.

The Xpat-Files

Owing largely to “new and improved” methods of analyzing the data members of the RVT have been re-analyzing longitudinal data that Dr. Bikos collected in Turkey between 2000 and 2002.  The dataset includes 5-waves over the first year of expatriation to Ankara, Turkey, for 32 female, expatriate, spouses.  Some results of the reanalysis should be appearing, soon, in a book chapter in the Research Handbook of Global Families.  Meanwhile, here are references to the original articles.

Bikos, L. H.,  Çiftçi, A., Güneri, O. Y., Demir, C. E., Sümer, Z. H., Danielson, S., DeVries, S., & Bilgen, W. (2007). A repeated measures investigation of the first-year adaptation experiences of the female expatriate spouse living in Turkey. Journal of Career Development, 34, 5-27. doi: 10.1177/0894845307304063

*A 9-minute recap of this project (particularly the “behind the scenes” elements) is found in this screencast:

Bikos, L. H.,  Çiftçi, A., Güneri, O. Y., Demir, C. E., Sümer, Z. H., Danielson, S., DeVries, S., & Bilgen, W. (2007). A longitudinal, Naturalistic Inquiry of the adaptation experiences of the female expatriate spouse living in Turkey. Journal of Career Development, 34, 28-58. doi: 10.1177/0894845307304064

*A 16-minute recap of this project (particularly the “behind the scenes” elements) is found in this screencast that was prepared for my qualitative research methods course:

Bikos, L. H., Klemens, M., Randa, L., Barry, A., Bore, T., Gibbs, R., & Kocheleva, J.  (2009). First-year adaptation of female, expatriate religious and humanitarian aid workers: A mixed methods analysis. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 12, 639-662. doi: 10.1080/13674670903167573

*The research design and analysis in this article was part of a lecture on qualitative research methods.  Check out the 6 minute segment that is excerpted:

Bikos, L. H., & Kocheleva, J.  (2013). Life role salience and well-being among American expatriate spouses in Turkey, Journal of Career Development, 40 (2), 107-126. doi: 10.1177/0894845311427906

*The statistical analysis in this article was part of a lecture on structural equation modeling.  Check out the < 3 minute segment:


Alumnus, Dr. Nicola De Paul Chism (’13) examined the relations between perceived organizational support and psychological well-being in NGO expats.  She later published a variant of her doctoral dissertation.

De  Paul Chism, N., & Bikos, L. H. (2015).   Perceived organizational support: A meaningful contributor to expatriate development professionals' psychological well-being  International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 49, 25-32. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2015.06.004

Repatriated MKs

Our location on a Christian campus has provided us with unique access to repatriated young adult children of international missionaries (“MK’s  -- missionary kids”).  One qualitative investigation blended vocational and international psychology by exploring college age MKs experiences with career development.   Drawing from social cognitive career theory, we concluded career and educational decision-making was influenced from past, present, and future (a) behaviors/actions, (b) cognitions, and (c) environmental barriers and supports.  The surprise was the manner in which faith was in and among each of those elements.

Bikos, L. H., Haney, D., Edwards, R.W., North, M. A., Quint, M., & McLellan, J. (2014).   Missionary Kid career development: A CQR investigation through a social cognitive lens. The Career Development Quarterly, 62(2), 156-174.  doi:10.1080/21635781.2013.835241

Bikos, L. H., & Hall, M. E. L. (2009). Psychological functioning of international missionaries:  Introduction to the special issue. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 12, 605-610. doi: 10.1080/13674670903312427

Klemens, M. J., & Bikos, L. H. (2009). Psychological well-being and sociocultural adaptation in college aged, repatriated,  missionary kids. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 12, 721-734. doi: 10.1080/13674670903032629

Bikos, L. H., Kocheleva, J., King, D., Chang, G. C., McKenzie, A., Roenicke, C., Campbell, V., & Eckard, K. (2009). A Consensual Qualitative investigation into the repatriation experiences of the young adult, missionary kids. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 12, 735-754. doi: 10.1080/13674670903032637