Pancultural explanations for life satisfaction: adding relationship harmony to self-esteem

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1997 Nov;73(5):1038-51. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.73.5.1038.


The first part of the study confirmed an additive effect of the newly proposed construct of relationship harmony to self-esteem in predicting life satisfaction across student samples from the United States and Hong Kong. As predicted from the dynamics of cultural collectivism, the relative importance of relationship harmony to self-esteem was greater in Hong Kong than in the United States. In the second part of the study, the independent and interdependent self-construals (H. R. Markus & S. Kitayama, 1991) and the 5 factors of personality (P. T. Costa & R. R. McCrae, 1992) were advanced to be the culture-general determinants of life satisfaction, acting through the mediating variables of self-esteem and relationship harmony. Both self-construals and the 5 factors of personality were shown to influence life satisfaction through the mediating agency of self-esteem and relationship harmony in equivalent ways across these 2 cultural groups.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Self Concept*
  • Students / psychology
  • United States