Who Do We Turn to and What Do We Get? Cultural Differences in Attachment Structure and Function Among East Asian and Western Individuals

Minjoo Joo, Susan E. Cross, Sun W. Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To whom do we turn for support in times of need, and what does the support from close others convey? The present research investigated how the structure and function of attachment differ for individuals in East Asian and Western cultures. In three studies, using survey and daily diary data, we examined the role of the romantic partner as an attachment figure, and the consequences of receiving responsive support in close relationships among individuals in Korea and the United States. As expected, the role of the romantic partner as an attachment figure was less emphasized for Koreans compared with U.S. participants. Also, responsive support from close others was more strongly linked to affiliation-related end states (i.e., in-group agency) for Koreans than U.S. individuals. The present research demonstrates the need to consider nuanced cultural influences in the attachment literature for the broader application of the theory.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

Keywords

  • adult attachment
  • close relationships
  • culture
  • ethnicity
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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