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Keywords:

  • belief in a just world;
  • life satisfaction;
  • resilience;
  • collectivistic;
  • harsh realities;
  • Chinese

Abstract

Previous research showed that in the individualistic culture, adults endorse the personal more than the general belief in a just world (PBJW vs. GBJW). Comparatively little is known about the prevalence character and adaptive functions of GBJW, especially in the collectivistic culture. We conducted three surveys among the Chinese adults and adolescents. We found that (1) Chinese adults and adolescents endorsed more GBJW than PBJW; (2) Adult survivors with high exposure to post-earthquake trauma and adolescents in the poverty-stricken area maintained high GBJW, with relatively lower PBJW. (3) GBJW predicted the psychological resilience in all the three samples independent of PBJW. The results imply that in contrast to populations from the individualistic culture, people from the collectivistic culture endorse a robust GBJW, which allows them to resiliently confront harsh realities. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.