Social phobia, peer attachment, identity, culture
This study investigated the relationship between social phobia, peer attachment, and identity development, within three different countries: China, India, and the USA. It was hypothesized that social phobia interferes with peer attachment, and that poor peer attachment interferes with identity development among late adolescents and emerging adults, thus peer attachment mediates the relationship between social phobia and identity. It was further hypothesized that this relationship between variables is moderated by culture such that in collectivistic cultures, where identity is more dependent upon group affiliation and identification, the interference of social phobia (through peer attachment) on identity would be much greater than in individualistic cultures where identity may be based more on unique characteristics. Participants were 422 undergraduate students from three locations: China (n = 180), India (n = 96), and the USA (n = 146). Results varied by country. For the combined sample collectivism, social phobia, and peer attachment each independently predicted identity. Collectivism also negatively predicted social phobia and positively predicted peer attachment. None of the variables served as a mediator or moderator between the other variables. In the USA sample, collectivism predicted identity but was mediated by peer attachment. Social phobia negatively predicted peer attachment and identity, but was not related to collectivism. In the Chinese sample, peer attachment predicted identity, but was mediated by social phobia. Collectivism predicted identity, but was not related to the other two variables. Among the Indian sample none of the variables predicted identity. A number of possible reasons for these complex results are explored.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Psychology Clinical; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Li, Shengnan, "The Relationship Between Social Phobia, Peer Attachment, And Identity Within Different Cultural Contexts" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 2215.