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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|32973||2007||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6709 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Behaviour Research and Therapy, Volume 45, Issue 8, August 2007, Pages 1779–1789
East Asians generally endorse higher social anxiety than do Westerners. Widely used measures of social anxiety, however, may not account for different social values across cultures. Drawing from Korean (n=251) and Euro-Canadian (n=250) community samples, this study used a cross-sectional design to examine the relationship between ratings of social anxiety and beliefs and self-views typically found in East Asian cultures. Results indicated that independent self-construal and identity consistency, views of the self that are typically associated with Western cultures, fully mediate the ethnic difference on self-reported social anxiety. Moreover, two indicators of East Asian views of the self in social contexts (interdependent self-construal and self-criticism) were partial mediators. Overall, the data suggest conceptualizations of pathological social anxiety may need to be revised to be useful for studying individuals in East Asian cultures.
Social anxiety encompasses feelings of uneasiness and apprehension that arise when an individual interacts with or performs in front of others and anticipates the possibility of being negatively evaluated. Social anxiety occurs in contexts that are personally meaningful, including shared social values, beliefs and expectations that shape perceptions of social success or failure. Dominant cognitive models point to standards of social performance (Clark & Wells, 1995) and a mental representation of the self in the social situation (Rapee & Heimberg, 1997) as important determinants of maladaptive social anxiety. Cultural context likely influences individual perceptions of successful social behaviour as well as the threat value of predicted social consequences of inept or unacceptable behaviour. Culture may contribute to the experience and report of social anxiety by shaping one's sense of social self as well as expectations of appropriate and successful social behaviour. For example, Western social norms encourage self-promotion within culturally prescribed limits and discourage overt submissiveness and reticence. A prominent concern among Western socially phobic clients is that others will see them as passive or uninteresting, and such clients do show more reticent behaviour than non-anxious persons in socially threatening situations (Alden & Bieling, 1998). East Asian social norms, on the other hand, favour less dominant, more avoidant styles of communication (Kim, 1994; Oetzel (1998a) and Oetzel (1998b)). Hence, some social strategies that would be potentially disadvantageous in a Western context, such as overt submissiveness in an effort to please others, may be effective in East Asian cultures. Likewise, some conceptualizations of the self that may be useful in Western social situations, such as self-promotion stemming from a sense of individuation, may not be associated with success in East Asian social groups (Triandis, 1995). East Asians generally endorse greater social anxiety than do Westerners (Norasakkunkit & Kalick, 2002; Okazaki (2000) and Okazaki (2002); Okazaki & Kallivayalil, 2002; Okazaki, Liu, Longworth, & Minn, 2002; Singelis & Sharkey, 1995; Zane & Yeh, 2002), although estimated effect sizes range fairly widely from d=0.25 to 1.10. Variation in estimated effect size may relate to features of a given study such as which measure of social anxiety was used or the degree of Western acculturation of East Asian samples. Foreign-born East Asians report higher social anxiety than do those born in the US ( Okazaki, 2000), and degree of Western acculturation correlates negatively with self-reported social anxiety ( Okazaki et al., 2002). The present study examines cultural mediators of this observed ethnic difference in self-reported social anxiety by focusing on self-construal, identity consistency, and self-criticism as indicators of cultural differences in views of the self in relation to others. Individualistic cultures like those of western Europe, the US, and Canada are thought to promote an independent view of the self (Markus & Kitayama, 1991), which includes an emphasis on an individual's ability to influence his/her environment and be an agent of change (Markus & Kitayama, 2004; Markus, Uchida, Omoregie, Townsend, & Kitayama, 2006). For Westerners, a sense of self-efficacy, self-awareness and positive self-views are emblematic of social maturity and success. Consistent with the features of an independent self-construal, the Western self is understood as an integrated set of attributes, abilities and preferences that transcend particular situations or relationships ( Kanagawa, Cross, & Markus, 2001; Markus & Kitayama (1991) and Markus & Kitayama (2004)). Persons with an independent self-construal perceive themselves to be characterized by particular attributes, much like a vase has a set of consistent attributes (e.g., tall, blue, fragile) regardless of the context in which it is placed. Accordingly, Westerners tend to value consistency across different situations as a genuine portrayal of the self ( Donahue, Robins, Roberts, & John, 1993; Roberts & Donahue, 1994). The belief that an individual's attributes and abilities are central to his or her self-definition goes hand in glove with the social goals of affirming and elaborating unique and positive characteristics of the self ( Kanagawa et al., 2001). Conversely, self-criticism is seen to impede the achievement of such goals. Among Westerners, self-criticism is associated with social distress that is independent of depression ( Mansell & Clark, 1999). Collectivistic cultures like those of East Asia (i.e., Korea, Japan, China), in contrast, are thought to promote an interdependent view of the self (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). More emphasis is placed on adjusting to (rather than influencing) one's environment and viewing agency as being dependent on context (Markus & Kitayama, 2004; Markus et al., 2006). East Asians tend to exhibit an interdependent self-construal, which fosters the pursuit of maintaining within-group harmony or peaceful relations with others. The interdependent self is largely defined in terms of relationships with significant others and predefined obligations and roles ( Markus & Kitayama, 1991); personal attributes and abilities are defined contextually in relation to others and the situation. To return to the metaphor, a single vase may at different times be considered to be the focal point of a room, a part of a collection or a vessel for flowers. Within East Asian social situations, one's social role and the need to adjust to the demands of others take precedence in conceptualizing the self and consequently motivating expected social behaviour. Contrary to a more independent view of the self, the expression and elaboration of inner attributes and opinions are secondary. Given that significant relationships and group membership represent core facets of the interdependent self, affirmation and elaboration of that sense of self is sought through the pursuit of harmony in those relationships and of a sense of connectedness with group members. For more discussion of this construct, see Markus and Kitayama (1991). With a sense of self that shifts depending on the details of each specific social setting, individuals with an interdependent self-construal are less concerned with showing a consistent persona across situations or experiencing a unitary self-view. The importance of identity consistency is more characteristic of Western than East Asian notions of a psychologically healthy self ( Donahue et al., 1993; Roberts & Donahue, 1994). In a comparison of Korean and Euro-American research participants, Suh (2002) reported less identity consistency among the Korean participants. Suh further reported that identity consistency was correlated with positive affect and informants’ ratings of the participants’ social skill and likeability only in the Euro-American sample. East Asians appear to be more self-critical than are Westerners, and self-criticism may not be universally associated with distress across cultures. Japanese participants, for example, do not show the self-serving bias that is typical of Westerners (Heine & Lehman, 1997), and they rate the discrepancy between their actual self and their ideal self as larger than do Westerners (Heine & Lehman, 1999). East Asians also consistently endorse lower self-esteem (Hetts, Sakuma, & Pelham, 1999; Kitayama, Markus, Matsumoto, & Norasakkunkit, 1997; Singelis, Bond, Sharkey, & Lai, 1999). Exposure to North American culture appears to be followed by increases in self-esteem endorsement, while exposure to Japanese culture is followed by subsequent declines (Heine, Lehman, Markus, & Kitayama, 1999). Self-criticism, studied as a prominent feature of depression in the West, may be functional for East Asians, helping them to identify and adjust negative personal attributes that threaten the success of a group interaction (Kitayama et al., 1997). To summarize, self-construal, identity consistency, and self-criticism are aspects of conceptualization of the self in relation to others that have been demonstrated to differ between East Asian and Western cultures. These features also appear to be relevant to the Western construct of social anxiety. Similar to an East Asian cultural milieu, Western social phobia is characterized by discomfort with self-promotion and self-disclosure and a self-critical orientation. A submissive, avoidant communication style is common to both. Personal views and goals are secondary to those of the group. Reports of higher social anxiety among East Asians, therefore, may reflect aspects of social anxiety that are sensitive to cross-cultural differences related to self-views and social values. Several teams of investigators have assessed the relationship between self-construal and self-reported social anxiety using different measures and sampling different populations. Independent self-construal is consistently negatively correlated with social anxiety (Dinnel, Kleinknecht, & Tanaka-Matsumi, 2002; Moscovitch, Hofmann, & Litz, 2005; Norasakkunkit & Kalick, 2002; Okazaki (1997) and Okazaki (2000); Singelis & Sharkey, 1995). Although positive relationships between social anxiety and interdependent self-construal scores are also reported, the results are less consistent and are frequently weaker than that found between independent self-construal and social anxiety (Dinnel et al., 2002; Norasakkunkit & Kalick, 2002; Okazaki (1997) and Okazaki (2000)). Despite the robust relationship between self-construal and social anxiety, it remains unclear whether cultural factors mediate the ethnic difference in social anxiety, although some clues have been reported. For example, Norasakkunkit and Kalick (2002) found ethnicity no longer predicted ratings on the Social Avoidance and Distress Scale, after controlling for self-construal and self-enhancement variables. In an effort to understand the mechanisms by which East Asians consistently report more social anxiety than do Westerners, we assessed self-construal and other indicators of an East Asian self-concept that would plausibly influence reports of social anxiety: identity consistency (or flexibility) and self-criticism. Using large samples of normal individuals who were well acculturated to either Korean or North American cultures, we predicted that self-construal, self-criticism, and identity consistency would mediate the relationship between ethnic group and endorsement of symptoms of social anxiety.