Differential links between expressive suppression and well-being among Chinese and Mexican American College students

Jenny C. Su, Richard M. Lee, Irene J.K. Park, José A. Soto, Janet Chang, Byron L. Zamboanga, Su Yeong Kim, Lindsay S. Ham, Jessie Dezutter, Eric A. Hurley, Kyoung Ok Seol, Elissa Brown

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38 Scopus citations


Previous research on culture and emotion regulation has focused primarily on comparing participants from individualistic and collectivistic backgrounds (e.g., European Americans vs. Asians/Asian Americans). However, ethnic groups that are equally individualistic or collectivistic can still vary notably in cultural norms and practices regarding emotion regulation. The present study examined the association between expressive suppression and well-being in two collectivistic ethnic groups (i.e., Chinese Americans and Mexican Americans). Results indicated that suppression of positive emotions was related to lower hedonic and eudaimonic well-being among Mexican Americans but not among Chinese Americans. Moreover, post hoc analysis revealed that Mexican Americans with a stronger collective identity reported lower eudaimonic well-being when suppressing positive emotions than Mexican Americans with a weaker collective identity. Suppression of negative emotions, by contrast, was unrelated to hedonic and eudaimonic well-being for both ethnic groups. Overall, our findings underscore the importance of taking into account the role that culture and the characteristics of emotion (e.g., valence) may play in the link between emotion regulation and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalAsian American Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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