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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Lehman, Barbara J.

Second Advisor

Scollon, Christie Napa

Third Advisor

Mallinckrodt, Brent


Given the negative influences of stress on health, it is important to examine beneficial processes like social support, which can promote greater health. However, the willingness to seek social support may be qualified by emotion regulation strategy. Research indicates that there are cultural differences in both social support seeking and emotion regulation processes. In this ecological momentary assessment design, participants (N = 49) reported on their daily stress, whether they sought social support during stressful times, and if they emotionally suppressed (N = 913). They also responded to individual differences measures, including interdependent cultural orientation and ethnicity. Multilevel modeling was used to test cultural differences in the association of emotional suppression mediating the link between stress and social support seeking. Although results did not suggest that emotional suppression mediated the link between stress and support seeking, after adjusting for emotional suppression, stress did predict social support seeking especially for Asian/Asian American participants. Stress predicted tangible but not emotional support. Furthermore, consistently across models, although stress did not predict emotional suppression, greater emotional suppression predicted greater social support seeking. Taken together, during stressful times, requesting particular types of support (e.g., tangible support) may be especially helpful. As culture influences social support processes, it is important to consider that different ethnicities tend to seek support differentially. Furthermore, emotional suppression may play an important role in social support processes. Overall, the complex interplay between stress, emotion regulation, and social support seeking have implications for support seeking in daily life.




stress, social support seeking, emotion regulation, culture, experience sampling method


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Stress (Psychology)--Social networks; Social networks--Psychological aspects; Asian American students--Social aspects; Emotions--Social aspects; European Americans--Students--Social aspects; Emotions--Psychological aspects






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