Sources of ethnic differences between Asian American and White American college students on measures of depression and social anxiety

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Abstract

This study tested an affect-specific explanation for the Asian and White American differences in depression and social anxiety. Construal of the self as independent or interdependent in relation to others (H. R. Markus and S. Kitayama, 1991) was hypothesized to be 1 possible way in which culture may be expressed in individuals' psychological functioning, which in turn was hypothesized to be linked specifically to social anxiety. College students (N = 348; 183 White Americans and 165 Asian Americans) completed self-report measures of depression, social anxiety, and self-construals. Asian Americans scored significantly higher than White Americans on measures of depression and social anxiety. When the covariance between depression and social anxiety was statistically controlled, ethnicity and self-construal variables were found, as predicted, to be associated with measures of social anxiety but not depression. These findings suggest a more differentiated perspective on the relations between culture, ethnicity, and emotional distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume106
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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