Author

Alissa Sneed

Date Approved

2016

Date Posted

8-3-2016

Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Karen K. Saules

Second Advisor

Tamara Loverich

Third Advisor

Natalie Dove

Abstract

The present study examined the relationship between emotion suppression, cultural values, and engagement in risky behaviors. The literature supports that emotion suppression is related to engagement in a variety of risky behaviors, but this may vary as a function of cultural values. That is, emotion suppression is relatively normative in certain cultures and may therefore not predict involvement in risky behavior for individuals from such groups. Therefore, the present study aimed to understand how emotion suppression and cultural values may interact in terms of their relationship with engagement in risky behaviors. The study also sought to investigate how engaging in risky behaviors affects psychological well-being. Furthermore, the study also sought to investigate the correlation between risky behaviors and cognitive reappraisal. Finally, for more exploratory purposes the study sought to examine correlations between risky behaviors and ethnic identity and collectivism.

The study included a sample of 565 college students aged 18 and older, enrolled at Eastern Michigan University. The mean age was 21.09 ± 5.36. The student sample was predominately female (72.6%) and White (65.5%). The present study found significant negative correlations between engagement in risky behaviors and collectivism, cognitive reappraisal, and psychological well-being; as well as, a significant positive correlation between engagement in risky behaviors and emotion suppression. Furthermore, a positive trend between European American values, emotion suppression, and involvement in risk behaviors was discovered. Limitations and implications for treatment and further research are discussed.

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Psychology Commons

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