The effects of self-efficacy and relationship harmony on depression across cultures: Applying level-oriented and structure-oriented analyses

Xiaohua Sylvia Chen, Wai Chan, Michael Harris Bond, Sunita Mahtani Stewart

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Cross-cultural theories of individualism and collectivism have stimulated the development of the personal constructs of independence and interdependence to help us understand the working out of their cultural dynamics. To delineate the contributions of both personal or independent and interpersonal or interdependent predictors of depressive symptomatology, this study assessed self-efficacy and relationship harmony (peer and family) among adolescents in Hong Kong and the United States. By applying both level- and structure-oriented techniques, the authors tested cultural differences in the levels of the constructs and their linkage across gender and culture. The path leading from self-efficacy to depressed symptoms was significantly stronger for American adolescents than for Hong Kong adolescents, whereas the path of relationship harmony was statistically equivalent across the two cultures. Both pathways supplemented one another in their effects on depressive symptomatology in both cultures, underscoring the importance of managing both agency and communion in promoting psychological health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-658
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Independence and interdependence
  • Relationship harmony
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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