Culture, cross-role consistency, and adjustment: testing trait and cultural psychology perspectives

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2008 Sep;95(3):739-55. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.95.3.739.


Trait and cultural psychology perspectives on cross-role consistency and its relation to adjustment were examined in 2 individualistic cultures, the United States (N=231) and Australia (N=195), and 4 collectivistic cultures, Mexico (N=199), the Philippines (N=195), Malaysia (N=217), and Japan (N=180). Cross-role consistency in trait ratings was evident in all cultures, supporting trait perspectives. Cultural comparisons of mean consistency provided support for cultural psychology perspectives as applied to East Asian cultures (i.e., Japan) but not collectivistic cultures more generally. Some but not all of the hypothesized predictors of consistency were supported across cultures. Cross-role consistency predicted aspects of adjustment in all cultures, but prediction was most reliable in the U.S. sample and weakest in the Japanese sample. Alternative constructs proposed by cultural psychologists--personality coherence, social appraisal, and relationship harmony--predicted adjustment in all cultures but were not, as hypothesized, better predictors of adjustment in collectivistic cultures than in individualistic cultures.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Australia
  • Character*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Personality Inventory
  • Philippines
  • Social Conformity
  • Social Perception
  • Social Values*
  • United States
  • Young Adult