Korean Clinical Psychology Association

Current Issue

Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology - Vol. 40 , No. 4

[ Original Article ]
Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology - Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 343-351
Abbreviation: KJCP
ISSN: 1229-0335 (Print) 2733-4538 (Online)
Print publication date 30 Nov 2021
Received 19 Aug 2021 Revised 12 Oct 2021 Accepted 15 Oct 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15842/kjcp.2021.40.4.002

Emotional Expressiveness in Trauma Narratives across Asian and European Americans: Effects of Implicit Audience and Ethnic Identity
Yookyung Eoh1 ; Leslie R. Brody2 ; Soo Hyun Park3,
1Department of Counseling Psychology, Seoul Graduate School of Counseling Psychology, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Psychology, Boston University, Massachusetts, United States
3Department of Psychology, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to : Soo Hyun Park, Department of Psychology, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea; E-mail: parksoohyun@yonsei.ac.kr

© 2021 Korean Clinical Psychology Association


Previous studies have reported that emotional expression carries different meanings for different people depending on ethnicity and the context of measuring emotional expressiveness. This study examined the effects of ethnicity, implicit audience, and ethnic identity on emotional expressiveness. We collected data from 136 female undergraduate students (68 East Asian Americans and 68 European Americans). Self-disclosure, emotional expressivity, and ethnic identity were also assessed. The participants were asked to write an essay about their traumatic experiences. For half of the participants, their ethnic identity was primed before writing the essays. Within each of the two conditions, half of the participants were asked to imagine that their own ethnic group would read their narratives, whereas the other half were asked to imagine that another ethnic group would read theirs. A multivariate analysis of covariance was conducted. Contrary to expectations, Asian Americans expressed more pride and sad words in their narratives, and more sadness in the ingroup condition than European Americans. Across both ethnic groups, participants with higher ethnic identity expressed less affect and positive emotions. Ethnic identity priming did not affect emotional expressiveness. The findings indicate that cultural differences in emotional expressiveness are complex, with ethnic identity, participants’ ethnicity, and ethnicity of the implicit audience assuming significant roles.

Keywords: audience, culture, emotional expression, ethnic identity, priming


The authors declare that there exists no conflict of interest. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Author contributions statement

YE, assistant professor at Seoul Graduate School of Counseling Psychology, led the drafting of the manuscript and consulted on the research design. LRB, professor at Boston University, consulted on research design. SHP, associate professor at Yonsei University, collected and analyzed data, led manuscript preparation, served as the principal investigator, and supervised the research process. All authors provided critical feedback, participated in revision of the manuscript, and approved the final submission.

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