Attachment dimensions and contingencies of self-worth: The moderating role of culture

Sheung-Tak CHENG, Karen W.K. KWAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the relationship between attachment dimensions and contingencies of self-worth (CSWs), and whether individualism would moderate the relationship between them. A sample of 154 university students (67 from individualistic and 87 from collectivistic cultures) completed questionnaires assessing attachment dimensions (anxiety and avoidance) and CSWs (physical appearance, others’ approval, outdoing others in competition, academic competence, support from family and friends, and virtue). Collectivists were more likely than individualists to report both attachment anxiety and avoidance, and anxiety and avoidance were both related to basing self-esteem on appearance and social support. Anxiety was also related to the CSWs of competition and others’ approval, and avoidance to academic competence and virtue. However, the relationship between anxiety and appearance CSW, and that between avoidance and support CSW, were stronger among collectivists than among individualists. Findings were discussed in terms of cross-cultural differences in self-construal and cultural norms in harmony and social support. Copyright © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-514
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


Social Support
Mental Competency
Self Concept


Cheng, S.-T., & Kwan, K. W. K. (2008). Attachment dimensions and contingencies of self-worth: The moderating role of culture. Personality and Individual Differences, 45(6), 509-514. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2008.06.003


  • Contingencies of self-worth
  • Attachment
  • Individualism–collectivism