تاثیر خود پنداشت بر اضطراب اجتماعی: تعامل خاص جنسیتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|32761||2005||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 38, Issue 3, February 2005, Pages 659–672
Ninety-seven American-born, Caucasian participants completed self-report questionnaires in a study examining the impact of gender, gender role orientation and independent and interdependent self-construals upon social anxiety. Three significant findings emerged: gender membership did not predict social anxiety severity, identification with a traditionally masculine gender role orientation decreased risk for social anxiety, and self-construals predicted levels of social anxiety differentially in men and women. In men, interdependence and independence predicted levels of social anxiety positively and negatively, respectively, while these patterns of association were reversed in women. Implications of the results are discussed in terms of the role of gender-specific cultural expectations and self-discrepancies in social anxiety.
The “cognitive self” and self-related processes are prominent in contemporary psychological theories of anxiety (Strauman & Segal, 2001). Cognitive models ascribe an essential role to negative self-perception in the development and maintenance of social anxiety (e.g., Clark & Wells, 1995; Gilbert, 2001; Leary, 2001; Leary and Kowalski, 1990 and Leary and Kowalski, 1995; Rapee & Heimberg, 1997; Schlenker & Leary, 1982). According to these models, on the basis of early experience, socially anxious individuals develop a number of distorted beliefs about themselves and their environment, which become salient during social encounters. When faced with social threat, they show an increased internal focus of attention (Beidel, Turner, & Dancu, 1985; Cacioppo, Glass, & Merluzzi, 1979; Glasgow & Arkowitz, 1975; Glass, Merluzzi, Biever, & Larsen, 1982; Hope, Gansler, & Heimberg, 1989; Stopa & Clark, 1993; Spurr & Stopa, 2002) and experience spontaneous, recurrent, negative self-constructions, which they assume to be valid (e.g., Hackmann, Clark, & McManus, 2000). In recent years, research has focused on detecting and deciphering cognitive biases among socially anxious or phobic individuals in their anticipation, recollection, and judgment of past and future social events. Although this approach has proven fruitful in elucidating the information-processing errors that underlie social anxiety and social phobia (Clark & McManus, 2002; Heinrichs & Hofmann, 2001), it has been limited by its relative neglect of the broader “cognitive context” in which these processing errors may occur. Indeed, there has been scant research on the overlaying self-schemas that impact the way socially anxious individuals organize and make sense of their social worlds. As reviewed by Strauman and Segal (2001), self-schemas refer to salient, emotionally charged, organized knowledge about identity, character, personal value, self-capacities, past experiences, and so on, that exert a top–down influence on the stream of social information-processing. In other words, they are complex narrative lenses through which individuals interpret and appraise social information. They shape individuals’ expectations regarding future events and significantly influence the way in which people plan, execute, and evaluate social behavior. Clinical psychologists have long recognized the influence of global, dysfunctional beliefs on emotion and behavior (e.g., Beck & Emery, 1985). It appears that individual differences in social anxiety are not associated with situation-specific (e.g., social demands), threat-based schemata ( Wenzel & Holt, 2003). For example, socially anxious individuals do not exhibit a memory bias toward the recall of negative non-schematic social information ( Wenzel, Haugen, & Schmutzer, 2003). However, little is known about whether and how global self-schemas impact social anxiety and social information-processing. In this study, we examined gender role orientation and self-constructions of independence or interdependence, which are global domains that shape the way individuals view themselves, approach others, and understand the world around them. To date, there has been little research exploring the influence of these domains and the experience of social anxiety. 1.1. Gender and gender role identification Historically, the constructs of masculinity and femininity were thought to lie on opposite ends of a unitary dimension. Three decades ago, however, Bem (1974), in her classic study on psychological androgyny, challenged this traditional belief by reasoning that a single individual can be, “both masculine and feminine, both assertive and yielding, both instrumental and expressive” (p. 155). To test this hypothesis, Bem devised a new sex-role inventory, which treated masculinity and femininity as two independent dimensions. The Bem Sex-Role Inventory (BSRI) enabled researchers to characterize individuals as masculine, feminine, androgynous––a concept which reflected an individual’s endorsement of both masculine and feminine personality characteristics––or undifferentiated, an endorsement of neither gender role. Bem speculated, and her subsequent research confirmed (e.g. Bem & Lenney, 1976), that androgynous individuals are more adaptable and flexible in their behavior and perform well across a wide range of tasks. On the other hand, sex-typed individuals are motivated to restrict their behavior in accordance with cultural definitions of gender appropriateness, and perform poorly on tasks that require them to act in ways that are incongruent with their self-defined sex-type (see Bem, 1984, for a review of these findings). To our knowledge, no research has examined the relationship between social anxiety and gender role identification, as conceptualized by Bem and represented in the BSRI. However, researchers have investigated differences between men and women in the experience and expression of social anxiety and social phobia. While women are slightly more likely than men to have social phobia (Kessler et al., 1994), men with social phobia are more likely to seek treatment (APA, 1994). Men and women with social phobia report similar fears of social situations, but women endorse more intense fear (Turk et al., 1998). Since gender is a complex social construct, gender role may, in part, explain these sex differences, but this has not been examined empirically (e.g., Turk et al., 1998; Weinstock, 1999). 1.2. Independent and interdependent self-construals Similar to gender roles, self-construals are overarching schemata that define how individuals relate to others and the social context. On the basis of cross-cultural research, Markus and Kitayama (1991) suggested that members of American and other individualistic societies tend to construct and promote independent self-construals, which are characterized by one’s tendency to view oneself as autonomous and separate from the social context. An individual possessing an independent self-concept is motivated to uphold and validate one’s own unique, internal attributes and goals, and one’s self-esteem is derived from an ability to distinguish oneself from other people in one’s environment. In contrast, members of Asian and other Eastern cultures are more likely to value and possess interdependent self-construals, which are based upon viewing oneself as being intricately connected and integrated with others in the social group. Interdependent people view the self as an extension of the social group to which they belong. To this end, they strive to maintain harmony in various interpersonal relationships by being attentive to, and adjusting their behavior to correspond appropriately with the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of important others. Although the concept of independent and interdependent self-construals was originally developed in the context of explaining cross-cultural differences in motivation and social behavior (Markus & Kitayama, 1991), and has been cited predominantly in cross-cultural research, it has since been extended to examine differences between people even within individualistic cultures, such as the United States. Along these lines, Cross and Madson, 1997a and Cross and Madson, 1997b argued that although both men and women value social connectedness, the American man is likely to be socialized to construct an independent self-construal and develop a social self that is marked by the motivation to promote core personal attributes over group goals. They theorized that American men possess self-representations that they construe separately from representations of important others. Conversely, the American woman is likely to be socialized to construct an interdependent self-construal such that representations of close interpersonal others are incorporated into her definition of self, and self-representations are construed as being intricately connected with particular relationships or contexts. These gender differences in self-construals are believed to emerge in early childhood, out of the developmental learning process that occurs when boys and girls are taught what it means to be members of their respective gender groups. Thus, according to this theory, differences in self-construals exert a pervasive influence upon the way men and women organize their experiences and assess their understanding of themselves vis à vis the world around them, and such differences may account for many of the empirically demonstrated gender differences in affect, social behavior, and cognitive processing. Though intriguing, this theory has, thus far, received little direct empirical validation. One pertinent question that is raised by the authors (Cross & Madson, 1997b) as well as their critics (e.g. Martin & Ruble, 1997) is how American women are able to reconcile the mixed messages they receive from a culture that broadly emphasizes independence and autonomy but expects females specifically to be interdependent and connected with others. Research has demonstrated that interdependence is positively, and independence negatively correlated with embarrassability (Singelis & Sharkey, 1995) and fear of negative evaluations (Okazaki, 1997), both of which are important elements of the symptomatic expression of social anxiety and social phobia (APA, 1994). Singelis and Sharkey (1995) proposed that being interdependent may engender an acute awareness of the social context and sensitivity to evaluation by others, while being independent may “gird people in the face of these evaluations” (p. 638). Similarly, Okazaki (1997) suggested that highly interdependent people might be more highly attuned to social cues and the experiences of social anxiety than individuals who score low on this dimension. This hypothesis was confirmed in a cross-cultural study that examined the relationship between self-construals and social anxiety symptoms among American and Japanese university students (Dinnel, Kleinknecht, & Tanaka-Matsumi, 2002). 1.3. Research questions and hypotheses The objective of this study was to explore more fully the nature of the relationship between self-construals, gender roles, and social anxiety. Research suggests that gender role and independent and interdependent self-construals may influence individuals’ perception of themselves in the social context, which we argue influences risk for social anxiety. Cultural background has been found to influence both self-construals (Markus & Kitayama, 1991) and levels of social anxiety (Ramsawh, Choate, & Hsia, 2001). Therefore, we restricted our study to a culturally homogeneous sample of American-born, Caucasian individuals. Previous studies examining the relationship between self-construals and a variety of psychological constructs, including gender, have relied on similarly restricted samples of European Americans (e.g. Gabriel & Gardner, 1999; Gardner, Gabriel, & Lee, 1999). We were interested in exploring a number of unaddressed questions related to gender identity and social anxiety. For example, is it femininity, rather than being a woman per se, which is related to degree of fear in social situations, and perhaps heightened social sensitivity in general? Is it possible that masculinity or androgyny may mitigate anxiety in social situations across the sexes? How do gender and gender roles interact in their impact upon reported experiences of social anxiety? With regard to independence and interdependence, we examined more closely Cross and Madson’s (1997a) theory that American culture encourages the development of independence in men and interdependence in women, and that gender differences in cognitions, emotions, and behavior can be understood in the context of these differences in self-construals. Do Caucasian American men and women truly identify themselves as independent and interdependent, respectively, even within the context of a culture that generally emphasizes the value of being independent? How is psychological well-being (i.e., social anxiety severity) affected by self-constructions of independence and interdependence in men versus women? We hypothesized that individual differences in social anxiety would be positively associated with femininity and interdependence, and negatively associated with masculinity, androgyny, and independence. We also explored the extent to which gender might moderate these effects.