Sense of coherence in Chinese and German students

Claude Hélène Mayer, Lynette Louw, Hartmut von der Ohe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Mental health and salutogenesis are important topics at universities in China and Germany where heightening stress levels in students can be observed. Aim: The aim of this article is to determine the profile of the salutogenic concept, sense of coherence (SOC), in Chinese and German students to provide new insights into SOC and mental health in Chinese and German students in higher education institutions (HEIs). Setting: The study was carried out at universities in China and Germany. Method: A non-experimental, cross-sectional, survey-based research design and convenience sampling was utilised to obtain the sample (n = 356). The sample was derived at a selected Chinese (n = 255) and a selected German university (n = 101). Data were gathered using the 7-point Likert SOC dimension scales based on the Life-Orientation Questionnaire (LOQ) research instrument. The internal consistency levels of the SOC sub-scales were of acceptable levels. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were calculated to determine the reliability of the LOQ research instrument. General linear modelling techniques. Results: The results showed the Chinese students scored significantly lower in all three SOC scales than the German students, with the largest practical significant difference in the sub-score of meaningfulness. In general, female Chinese and German students scored higher than their male counterparts. No significant differences could be found between German female and male, and Chinese female and male students. Conclusion: Conclusions and recommendations for future research and HEI practice are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera1151
JournalHealth SA Gesondheid
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese students
  • German students
  • Health
  • Salutogenesis
  • Sense of coherence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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