Culture and social support: Who seeks it and why?

Shelley E. Taylor, David K. Sherman, Heejung S. Kim, Johanna Jarcho, Kaori Takagi, Melissa S. Dunagan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

599 Scopus citations


Are Asians and Asian Americans more or less likely to seek social support for dealing with stress than European Americans? On the one hand, the collectivist orientation of Asian countries might favor the sharing of stressful problems; on the other hand, efforts to maintain group harmony might discourage such efforts. In 2 studies, Koreans (Study 1) and Asians and Asian Americans in the United States (Study 2) reported using social support less for coping with stress than European Americans. Study 3 examined potential explanations for these effects and revealed that relationship concerns accounted for the cultural differences in use of support seeking. Discussion centers on the potential benefits and liabilities of seeking social support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-362
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004


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