Effects of Emotion Suppression on Life Satisfaction in Americans and Chinese

Yeseul Nam, Young Hoon Kim, Kevin Kim Pong Tam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The present study aimed to uncover culturally different ways in which emotion suppression affects life satisfaction. To do so, we manipulated American and Hong Kong Chinese participants to perceive that they had suppressed their emotions to either a greater extent (high suppression) or a lesser extent (low suppression). In the control condition, there was no manipulation. Then, participants indicated how satisfied they were with their lives. We found that American participants reported lower life satisfaction in the high-suppression (vs. control) condition, but no difference was found between the low-suppression and the control condition, suggesting that high use of emotion suppression undermines Americans’ life satisfaction. In contrast, Hong Kong Chinese participants reported higher life satisfaction in the low-suppression (vs. control) condition, but no difference was found between the high-suppression and the control condition, suggesting that Hong Kong Chinese benefit from low use of emotion suppression. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-160
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

Cite this