Cultural contributions to adults' self-rated mental health problems and strengths: 7 culture clusters, 28 societies, 16 906 adults


BACKGROUND: It is unknown how much variation in adult mental health problems is associated with differences between societal/cultural groups, over and above differences between individuals. METHODS: To test these relative contributions, a consortium of indigenous researchers collected Adult Self-Report (ASR) ratings from 16 906 18- to 59-year-olds in 28 societies that represented seven culture clusters identified in the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavioral Effectiveness study (e.g. Confucian, Anglo). The ASR is scored on 17 problem scales, plus a personal strengths scale. Hierarchical linear modeling estimated variance accounted for by individual differences (including measurement error), society, and culture cluster. Multi-level analyses of covariance tested age and gender effects. RESULTS: Across the 17 problem scales, the variance accounted for by individual differences ranged from 80.3% for DSM-oriented anxiety problems to 95.2% for DSM-oriented avoidant personality (mean = 90.7%); by society: 3.2% for DSM-oriented somatic problems to 8.0% for DSM-oriented anxiety problems (mean = 6.3%); and by culture cluster: 0.0% for DSM-oriented avoidant personality to 11.6% for DSM-oriented anxiety problems (mean = 3.0%). For strengths, individual differences accounted for 80.8% of variance, societal differences 10.5%, and cultural differences 8.7%. Age and gender had very small effects. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, adults' self-ratings of mental health problems and strengths were associated much more with individual differences than societal/cultural differences, although this varied across scales. These findings support cross-cultural use of standardized measures to assess mental health problems, but urge caution in assessment of personal strengths.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
College of Health & Life Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Vision, Hearing and Language
Additional Information: This article has been published in a revised form in Psychological Medicine []. This version is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND licence. No commercial re-distribution or re-use allowed. Derivative works cannot be distributed. © copyright The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press
Uncontrolled Keywords: cross-cultural,international,syndromes,strengths,psychopathology,Adult self-report
Publication ISSN: 1469-8978
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2024 07:18
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2023 11:58
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PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2023-12
Published Online Date: 2023-05-19
Accepted Date: 2023-05-01
Authors: Copeland, William E
Ivanova, Masha Y
Achenbach, Thomas M
Turner, Lori V
Tong, Guangyu
Ahmeti-Pronaj, Adelina
Au, Alma
Bellina, Monica
Caldas, J Carlos
Chen, Yi-Chuen
Csemy, Ladislav
da Rocha, Marina M
Dobrean, Anca
Ezpeleta, Lourdes
Funabiki, Yasuko
Harder, Valerie S
Lecannelier, Felipe
Leiner de la Cabada, Marie
Leung, Patrick
Liu, Jianghong
Mahr, Safia
Malykh, Sergey
Markovic, Jasminka
Ndetei, David M
Oh, Kyung Ja
Petot, Jean-Michel
Riad, Geylan
Sakarya, Direnc
Samaniego, Virginia C
Sebre, Sandra
Shahini, Mimoza
Silvares, Edwiges
Simulioniene, Roma
Sokoli, Elvisa
Talcott, Joel B (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-7958-8369)
Vazquez, Natalia
Wolanczyk, Tomasz
Zasepa, Ewa

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