Ikeda, K., Fujimoto, S., Morling, B., Takahara-Ayano, S., Carroll, A. E., Harashima, S.,Uchida, Y. (内田由紀子), & Inagaki, N. (2014).
Social Orientation and Diabetes-Related Distress in Japanese and American Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.
糖尿病患者の心の負担に日本人特有の要因の存在-協調性を重視する文化の影響-
PloS one9(10): e109323.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109323
 
Objective
Recent evidence in cultural and social psychology suggests Eastern cultures’ emphasis on harmony and connection with others and Western cultures’ emphasis on self-direction and autonomy. In Eastern society, relational harmony is closely linked to people’s well-being. The impact of this cultural and social orientation on diabetes-related distress was investigated.
 
Research Design and Methods
Japanese and American patients with type 2 diabetes were surveyed by well-established questionnaire in Japan and in the United States, respectively. The association of personal values for interdependence, perceived emotional support, and the Problem Areas in Diabetes scale (PAID) were analyzed.
 
Results
A positive correlation between interdependence and PAID (r = 0.18; P = 0.025) and a negative correlation between perceived emotional support and PAID (r = − 0.24; P = 0.004) were observed after adjustments for other factors in Japanese data (n = 149), but not in American data (r = 0.00; P = 0.990, r = 0.02; P = 0.917, respectively, n = 50). In Japanese data, the three-factor structure of PAID (negative feelings about total life with diabetes, about living conditions with diabetes, and about treatment of diabetes) was identified, and interdependence showed significant positive correlations with the first and second factors and perceived emotional support showed significant negative correlations with all three factors of PAID.
 
Conclusions
These results suggest that personal values for interdependence may be linked to the level of diabetes-related distress and that the distress may be relieved by perception of emotional support, especially in an interdependent cultural context.