On being yourself in different cultures: Ideal and actual self-concept, autonomy support, and well-being in China, Russia, and the United States

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The present study used multilevel modeling and measures of the Big Five to test Rogers’ prediction that discrepancies between ideal and actual self-concept would be negatively associated with well-being, and to test the prediction drawn from self-determination theory that partners’ autonomy support would be associated with smaller discrepancies. Discrepancies and well-being were found to be negatively associated in samples from the USA, Russia, and China, but participants’ actual self-concept was closer to their ideal when with autonomy supportive partners. Although there was some moderation by country membership, associations were in the same direction for all countries. Discussion focuses on the cultural and clinical implications.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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