Emotion Regulation: A Critical Review of Cross-cultural Validity

Abstract

During the last two decades, research investigations in emotion regulation have proliferated due to the recognition of its significance in mental health and well-being. Theoretical models and measures of emotion regulation have been proposed. The proposals, however, are based on studies conducted within the Western cultural contexts. With recent empirical and theoretical findings, questions emerge regarding the cross-cultural validity of various emotion regulation strategies; namely, cognitive reappraisal styles and behavior suppression. This paper, therefore, aims to systematically review theoretical models and empirically-based well-recognized measures of emotional regulation. The main purposes were to identify patterns and trends in its conceptualization and measurement. Then, a critical analysis of its cross-cultural validity is presented. The foci are on cross-cultural variations in the implications of emotion regulation strategies when employed within the Asian cultural contexts, in where interdependent self-construal and collectivism are dominant. Issues for further investigations are identified. Recommendations regarding ways to enhance cross-cultural validity of the studies of emotion regulation are also offered. Potential benefits in proposing culturally-appropriate measures of emotion regulation are then discussed. This critical review should be beneficial in aiding the evaluation of the generalization of research findings using traditional theoretical conceptualization and measures of emotion regulation. A guideline for the development of a culturally-appropriate measure of the construct is also offered.



Author Information
Kullaya Pisitsungkagarn, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2013
Stream: Psychology

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