Is It Cultural Context or Cultural Value? Unpackaging Cultural Influences on Stigma Toward Mental Illness and Barrier to Help-Seeking

Sylvia Xiaohua Chen, Winnie W.S. Mak, Ben C.P. Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

There have been growing interests in sampling underrepresented populations to test whether psychological processes are universal. The present cross-sectional study examined cultural influences on stigma toward mental illness and perceived barrier to help-seeking among Hong Kong Chinese, Chinese Americans, and European Americans (N = 555 university students). Significant cultural differences were found in the mean levels, with the two Chinese groups reporting higher levels of stigma toward mental illness and perceived barrier to help-seeking than European Americans, and these cultural differences were accounted for by face concern. In addition, the strengths of paths from face concern to stigma toward mental illness and perceived barrier to help-seeking were equivalent across the three cultural groups. These findings tease apart the source of cultural influences and underscore the importance of comparing cultural differences both at the mean level and the structural level, but more importantly, to unpackage the observed differences by testing the mediating role of cultural values.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • culture
  • face concern
  • help-seeking barrier
  • stigma
  • unpackaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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