Date of Award

12-20-2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Fran Mullis - Chair

Abstract

Mainland China has undergone drastic social and economic changes in the last century. Rapid social changes often transform individual values and family structures, which directly affect the personality development process and life quality of human beings. The review of English and Chinese-language publications will enhance the readers¡¯ understanding of the Mainland Chinese personality features, coping resources and social changes. The research assessed the impact of social changes on the patterns of personality traits, stress coping resources, and life satisfaction of 2359 people in Mainland China. Participants completed three surveys: 1) the Coping Resources Inventory for Stress (CRIS) (Matheny, Curlette, Aycock, Pugh, & Taylor, 1987), 2) Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larson, & Griffin, 1985), and 3) Basic Adlerian Scales of Interpersonal Success-Adult Inventory (Wheeler, Kern, & Curlette, 1995). Pearson Correlations, Univariate analysis of variance, Multivariate analysis of variance, and Multiple regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between personality types, stress coping resources, and life satisfaction for three generations. Income and gender factors were considered in analysis. The three generations do not have significant difference in personality as measured by BASIS-A. Females scored higher than males on Entitlement, Financial Freedom, and Satisfaction with Life. High income group scored significantly higher than middle and low income groups on Belonging-Social Interest, Softness, Taking Charge, and Wanting Recognition, Self Disclosure, Social Support, Financial Freedom, Physical Health, and Physical Fitness. Old generation scored significantly higher than the middle and young generations on Structuring and Satisfaction with Life. Old generation with low income scored significantly higher on Satisfaction with Life than young generation with high income. Within the young generation, middle income group perceived more Financial Freedom and Satisfaction with Life than the high and low income groups. Females with high income perceived less Physical Fitness than females with low and medium income. Entitlement, Financial Freedom, Coping Resource Effectiveness, age, and Belonging-Social Interest are found to be predictors of Satisfaction with Life among Chinese people. Findings of this study have important implications for the design of training programs aimed at assisting Chinese individuals and families to cope more healthfully with distressing circumstances and events. The results should also be useful in developing cross-cultural mental health tests.

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