Building life satisfaction through attachment to mother and beliefs about the world: Social axioms as mediators in two cultural groups

Miranda Chi Kuan Mak, Yvonne Ming Yee Han, Jianing You, Mingxuan Jin, Michael Harris Bond

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the role of three dimensions of social axioms (religiosity, social cynicism, and reward for application) as mediators of the relationship between insecure attachment styles to mother and the life satisfaction of Hong Kong Chinese and Americans. Participants were 143 university students from Hong Kong and 187 from the United States. As predicted, attachment-avoidant individuals had higher levels of social cynicism and lower levels of reward for application, while attachment-anxious individuals showed higher levels of social cynicism. Both social cynicism and reward for application mediated the link between insecure maternal attachment styles and life satisfaction, confirming the position that experiences with mothering shape beliefs about the world that in turn shape life outcomes. Anxious and avoidant maternal attachment styles correlated differently with religiosity, social cynicism, and reward for application in the two cultures, suggesting a distinctive role for beliefs about religious institutions and a Supreme Being for Americans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-239
Number of pages17
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


  • Attachment to mother
  • Life satisfaction
  • Social axioms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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