Zhou, B., Lacroix, F., Sasaki, J. (佐々木淳), Peng, Y., Wang, X., & Ryder, A. G. (2014).
Unpacking Cultural Variations in Social Anxiety and the Offensive-Type of Taijin Kyofusho Through the Indirect Effects of Intolerance of Uncertainty and Self-Construals.
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.
doi: 10.1177/0022022114548483
This article presents two studies that aim to unpack cultural variations in general social anxiety (SA) and the offensive-type of Taijin Kyofusho (OTKS)—a type of SA characterized by the extreme fear of offending others. Cultural variations in the expression and manifestation of SA are well established; however, the mechanisms underpinning this relation are unclear. The present studies use the Parallel Multiple Mediation Model to study how SA and OTKS are jointly shaped by self-construal and intolerance of uncertainty (IU). Study 1 compared Euro-Canadians and Chinese migrants in Canada. Results showed a mean group difference in OTKS, but not SA, with the difference mediated by IU. Study 2 tested this pattern of multiple mediations in Japanese, Chinese, and Euro-Canadian cultural contexts. Results showed significant differences among these three cultural groups on both SA and OTKS via multiple mediators (e.g., independent vs. interdependent self-construals and IU). Findings in both studies revealed that OTKS seems to be a psychopathology that is not specific to Japanese participants. The underlying mechanisms and processes of OTKS are also significantly different from SA. Significant cultural variations in SA and OTKS between Chinese versus Japanese cultural contexts were observed in Study 2. These studies demonstrate the conceptual and empirical advantages of using more complex models to unpack the psychological mechanisms shaping cultural variations in SA and OTKS.