Cross-cultural perspectives on self-change in close relationships: Evidence from Hong Kong Chinese and European Americans

M. Joo, B. C. P. Lam, S. E. Cross, Xiaohua Sylvia Chen, V. C. Y. Lau, H. K. Y. Ng, C. Günsoy

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Three studies examined cultural perceptions of self-change in romantic relationships. In Study 1 (N = 191), Chinese participants perceived hypothetical couples who changed for the sake of the relationship to have better relationship quality than couples who did not, compared to European American participants. In Study 2 (N = 396), Chinese individuals in a dating relationship were more likely to perceive that they had changed in the relationship, and self-change was a stronger predictor of relationship quality for them than for American dating individuals. In Study 3 (N = 115 dyads), Chinese married couples perceived greater self-change, and their perceived self-change was due in part to higher endorsement of dutiful adjustment beliefs than American couples. Self-change was a stronger predictor of relationship quality for Chinese married couples than American couples. Our studies provide support for cultural differences in the role of self-change in romantic relationships, which have implications for partner regulation and relationship counseling across cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1133
Number of pages16
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume48
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • culture
  • relationship adjustment
  • romantic relationships
  • self-change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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