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Title: An investigation into the influence of cross-cultural differences in self-consistency and desirability on well-being and posttraumatic psychological adjustment
Author: Gage, Emily
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2013
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Objectives: The self (content and structure) has been shown to play a major role in psychological processes involved in well-being and universal disorders, including depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, many theories of such disorders give little consideration to research demonstrating an influence of culture on the self. Furthermore, while research has considered self-concept structure (i.e., self-consistency), self-concept content has been given less attention. The objectives of the current study were to investigate the influence of cross-cultural differences in self-concept structure and content on well-being (Study 1a) and posttraumatic psychological adjustment (Study 1b). Design: A two-group (British vs. East Asian) quantitative cross-sectional design was used. Participants (172 British, 122 East Asian) in Study 1a completed self-report measures assessing self-consistency and well-being. Of the participants in Study 1a, 83 British and 41 East Asian had experienced a traumatic event and thus also took part in Study 1b. In Study 1b participants completed measures assessing trauma-centrality and PTSD symptoms. Results: British participants showed greater overall self-consistency. When investigating content (i.e., desirability of characteristics) British participants showed greater desirable types of consistency. In contrast, East Asian participants showed greater undesirable types of selfconsistency. Significant relationships were found for both cultural groups between selfconsistency and well-being. Specifically, consistency to undesirable characteristics was found to significantly correlate with lower levels of well-being (Study 1a). Relationships between self-concept (structure and content) and posttraumatic psychological adjustment were less clear (Study 1b). Conclusions: This study highlights the complex relationship between self-concept and wellbeing and emphasises the importance of structure and content. It also draws attention to the influence of culture. Further research is required to make firm conclusions in relation to II PTSD. This study further supports the cross-cultural consideration of well-being and PTSD, highlighting the importance of future investigation when considering culturally appropriate models and interventions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available