Do self-report measures of social anxiety reflect cultural bias or real difficulties for Asian American college students?
Ho, L.Y.; Lau, A.S.
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 17(1): 52-58
Construal of the self as independent or interdependent in relation to others has been found to correlate significantly with social anxiety symptom ratings, raising concerns about possible cultural bias in these measures for Asian Americans. To investigate the validity of self-reported social anxiety symptoms, we examined the role of ethnicity in the associations among social anxiety, self-construal, and adaptive social functioning in a sample of 229 Asian- and European American college students. Results revealed that ethnicity moderated the relationship between self-construal and social anxiety such that interdependent self-construal was associated with higher social anxiety only for first generation Asian Americans. However, there were no significant ethnic differences in the associations between social anxiety self-reports and several measures of social functioning.