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date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Emotion plays central roles in health via numerous pathways; how these linkages vary by cultural contexts is beginning to be understood. Studies have demonstrated that culturally shared ideas, values, practices, and norms influence health implications of emotions. This chapter summarizes differences in beliefs, values, and norms about emotion between Western and East Asian cultures. Self-construal theory and dialecticism provide theoretical frameworks for the investigations that follow. Studies are reviewed demonstrating cultural differences in the associations between emotions and health, highlighting the idea of cultural fit along the way. The health outcomes include mental health, self-rated physical health and physical symptoms, and physiological systems. Considered are possible psychosocial and behavioral processes through which culturally appropriate emotions affect health. Future directions are suggested. The overarching message is that culture needs to be considered in building a full understanding of how emotion and health are linked.

Keywords: culture, emotion, health, self-construal theory, dialecticism, mental health, physical health, inflammation, neuroendocrine function, metabolism

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