Emerging evidence on cultural differences in health implications of emotions suggests that the cultural fit of emotions (i.e., accordance with culturally normative and prevalent patterns of emotions) is associated with better health. However, the mechanisms underlying the links between culture, emotions, and health are not clear. In this paper, we propose a psychosocial resources model of cultural fit as an integrative framework to guide the future work in this area. Following the review of cultural differences in emotions, we next review the accumulating evidence showing that culture modulates the link between emotions and health in such a way that the cultural fit of emotions positively predicts health. We then propose that psychosocial resources (e.g., resilience, meaning in life, and social support) play an important role in linking the cultural fit of emotions to health. The psychosocial resources model proposes that the emotion–health link is modulated and sustained via the relevance of emotions to resources and coping in a given cultural context. The model is supported by a line of research suggesting the role of cultural fit in the attainment of resources and another line of research showing the importance of psychosocial resources in health. Lastly, future directions will be discussed for research incorporating culture into the study of emotion and health.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology