An investigation into the influence of cross-cultural differences in self-consistency and desirability on well-being and posttraumatic psychological adjustment.

Gage, Emily (2013) An investigation into the influence of cross-cultural differences in self-consistency and desirability on well-being and posttraumatic psychological adjustment. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

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
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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.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2014 14:27
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2014 14:27
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/48111
DOI:

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