Implications of Emotion Expressivity for Daily and Trait Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Functioning Across Ethnic Groups

William Tsai, Michael Sun, Shu Wen Wang, Anna S. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Previous research has suggested that ethnicity and self-construals may play a role in shaping the utility and function of emotion expression. In a 10-day daily diary study, we examined the effects of positive and negative emotion expressivity on daily and trait intrapersonal and interpersonal functioning across Asian and European American college students. One hundred fifty-five Asian Americans and 74 European Americans completed questionnaires assessing daily affect and daily interactions. Results revealed no significant ethnic group differences in the tendency to express positive or negative emotions, nor in the relationship between positive emotion expressivity and intrapersonal functioning. However, ethnic group differences were apparent in the relation between negative emotion expressivity and functioning. Asian Americans high in negative emotion expressivity were more likely to report poorer daily and trait intrapersonal functioning, whereas these relationships were unrelated for European Americans. Among highly interdependent individuals, positive emotion expressivity was associated with greater daily positive mood, lower trait interpersonal problems, and lower depressive symptoms; however, this was not shown for low interdependence individuals. Our findings suggest that the valence of emotional expressions and culture needs to be considered in studying the adaptive function of emotion expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-63
Number of pages12
JournalAsian American Journal of Psychology
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

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Ethnic Groups
Emotions
Asian Americans
Depression
Students
Research

Keywords

  • Asian American
  • culture
  • emotion expression
  • emotion valence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Implications of Emotion Expressivity for Daily and Trait Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Functioning Across Ethnic Groups. / Tsai, William; Sun, Michael; Wang, Shu Wen; Lau, Anna S.

In: Asian American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 7, No. 1, 01.03.2016, p. 52-63.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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