Can you help me? American ratings of Japanese and American social support situations

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University of Delaware
Previous research on social support has found that Asians seek support less than European Americans. The present research investigates the extent to which cultural differences in social support are encoded in the culture-specific situations and in the people within a culture. We used the method of situation sampling. Social support situations of college students from both the US and Japan were presented to 133 US college students. Each situation was followed by a 6-question rating scale questionnaire. It was hypothesized that US situations would have higher ratings of personal choice than Japanese situations overall while Japanese situations would have higher ratings of obligation than US situations overall. Ratings of obligation and personal choice would be more similar for Japanese situations than for US situations. The findings were consistent with the hypotheses, with the exception of requested, emotional support in Japan, in which personal choice was high and obligation relatively low. In the future, this study will be repeated with Japanese college students.