Pursuit of comfort and pursuit of harmony: Culture, relationships, and social support seeking

Heejung S. Kim, David K. Sherman, Deborah Ko, Shelley E. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

276 Scopus citations


This research examined whether people from collectivistic cultures are less likely to seek social support than are people from individualistic cultures because they are more cautious about potentially disturbing their social network. Study 1 found that Asian Americans from a more collectivistic culture sought social support less and found support seeking to be less effective than European Americans from a more individualistic culture. Study 2 found that European Americans' willingness to seek support was unaffected by relationship priming, whereas Asian Americans were willing to seek support less when the relationship primed was closer to the self. Study 3 replicated the results of Study 2 and found that the tendency to seek support and expect social support to be helpful as related to concerns about relationships. These findings underscore the importance of culturally divergent relationship patterns in understanding social support transactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1595-1607
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Culture
  • Relationship
  • Social support
  • Stress


Dive into the research topics of 'Pursuit of comfort and pursuit of harmony: Culture, relationships, and social support seeking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this