Emotional suppression and well-being in immigrants and majority group members in the Netherlands

Authors

  • Snežana Stupar,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands
    • Correspondence should be addressed to Snežana Stupar, Department of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Tilburg University, PO Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, the Netherlands. (E-mail: s.stupar@uvt.nl).

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  • Fons J. R. van de Vijver,

    1. Department of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands
    2. WorkWell: Research Unit for Economics and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
    3. School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
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  • Johnny R. J. Fontaine

    1. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Department of Personnel Management, Work and Organizational Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
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Abstract

We were interested in interethnic differences in emotional suppression. We propose a model in which suppression of specific emotional experiences (suppressive behaviours during interactions with others) mediates the relationship between emotional suppression tendency (intention to suppress emotions) and well-being, operationalised as mood disturbance, life dissatisfaction and depressive and physical symptoms. The sample consisted of 427 majority group members and 344 non-Western and 465 Western immigrants in the Netherlands. Non-Western immigrants scored higher on emotional suppression tendency and lower on well-being than the other groups. We did not find interethnic differences in suppression of specific emotional experiences. The full mediation model was supported in all groups. Interethnic differences in well-being could not be accounted for by differences in emotional suppression.

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