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Type: Journal article
Title: The impact of self-construals and perceived social norms on social anxiety in young adults: a cross-cultural comparison
Author: Essau, C.
Leung, P.
Koydemir, S.
Sasagawa, S.
O'Callaghan, J.
Bray, D.
Citation: International Journal of Culture and Mental Health, 2012; 5(2):109-120
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1754-2863
Statement of
Cecilia A. Essau, Patrick W.L. Leung, Selda Koydemir, Satoko Sasagawa, Jean O’Callaghan and Diane Bray
Abstract: Feelings of intense anxiety associated with social situations are a universal phenomenon. However, the expression of a social anxiety reaction and the situation in which it is elicited may differ across cultures. The main aims of the present study were to compare the frequency of social anxiety symptoms among young adults in Hong Kong and in the UK and to examine the association between social anxiety, self-construals and perceived social norms. A total of 886 young adults (451 in the UK and 435 in Hong Kong) between the ages of 18 and 26 years were investigated. They completed a set of questionnaires, which were used to measure social anxiety, self-construals and perceived social norms. Young adults in Hong Kong reported significantly higher levels of social anxiety symptoms than young adults in the UK. Participants in Hong Kong scored significantly higher than those in the UK in interdependent self-construal, whereas the Hong Kong group scored lower in independent self-construal. In both countries, independent self-construal was significantly negatively correlated with social anxiety. Cultural norms were associated with social anxiety only in the Hong Kong sample. These findings highlight the importance of cultural factors on individuals' experiences of social anxiety.
Keywords: Social anxiety symptoms; culture; self-construals; perceived social norms
Rights: © 2012 Taylor & Francis
RMID: 0030047446
DOI: 10.1080/17542863.2011.563049
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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