Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Self-Change in Close Relationships: Evidence From Hong Kong Chinese and European Americans

Minjoo Joo*, Ben C.P. Lam, Susan E. Cross, Sylvia Xiaohua Chen, Victor C.Y. Lau, Hilary K.Y. Ng, Ceren Günsoy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Three studies examined cultural perceptions of self-change in romantic relationships. In Study 1 (N = 191), Chinese participants perceived hypothetical couples who changed for the sake of the relationship to have better relationship quality than couples who did not, compared to European American participants. In Study 2 (N = 396), Chinese individuals in a dating relationship were more likely to perceive that they had changed in the relationship, and self-change was a stronger predictor of relationship quality for them than for American dating individuals. In Study 3 (N = 115 dyads), Chinese married couples perceived greater self-change, and their perceived self-change was due in part to higher endorsement of dutiful adjustment beliefs than American couples. Self-change was a stronger predictor of relationship quality for Chinese married couples than American couples. Our studies provide support for cultural differences in the role of self-change in romantic relationships, which have implications for partner regulation and relationship counseling across cultures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jul 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Psychology

User-Defined Keywords

  • culture
  • relationship adjustment
  • romantic relationships
  • self-change

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