Anxiety and stress among American, Chinese, Italian, and Russian emerging adults: Does uncertainty avoidance matter?

Elisa DELVECCHIO, Giulia CENCI, Adriana LIS, Jianbin LI, Alexander T. VAZSONYI, Sofya NARTOVA‐BOCHAVER, Magdalena ZADWORNA, Claudia MAZZESCHI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Levels of anxiety and stress vary throughout the lifespan and across cultures. Uncertainty appears particularly relevant during emerging adulthood, thus potentially affecting both stress and anxiety. Uncertainty as a construct was identified by Hofstede (i.e., Uncertainty Avoidance Index, UAI), who defined it as the extent to which members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and tend to avoid them. The UAI was considered as a means to understand cultures in addition to the “classic” distinction between collectivist and individualistic cultures. The present study compared levels of anxiety and stress in 1790 university students (18–21 years old) from two individualistic (Italy and the US) and two collectivistic (China and Russia) countries, with a consideration of country UAI levels. Results showed that country-level UAI scores were associated with levels of anxiety and stress, controlling for age and sex. Italian and Russian students reported greater anxiety than American and Chinese ones. Chinese emerging adults reported the lowest stress levels, followed by American, Italian, and Russian students. The study findings provide initial evidence that anxiety and stress in emerging adults are associated with how a culture deals with perceived instability and uncertainty about the future. Copyright © 2023 by the authors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3101
JournalHealthcare
Volume11
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Citation

Delvecchio, E., Cenci, G., Lis, A., Li, J.-B., Vazsonyi, A. T., Nartova-Bochaver, S., Zadworna, M., & Mazzeschi, C. (2023). Anxiety and stress among American, Chinese, Italian, and Russian emerging adults: Does uncertainty avoidance matter? Healthcare, 11(24), Article 3101. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11243101

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Individualism/collectivism
  • Cross-cultural
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Stress

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