Friendship and emotion regulation across cultures
A warm welcome to our new Master students
This semester, five Master students from Leiden University joined Naqi’s research project “Difficult teenagers; Aggression in different cultures”. They will continue the work that Naqi has done in Malaysia by collecting data from Dutch teenagers. Their aim will be to examine which factors contribute to adolescent aggression, and how this differs between the two cultural groups. We are especially interested in emotional factors (for example emotion awareness), social factors (for example friendship quality), and cultural factors (for example individualistic and collectivistic values). The project is supervised by Boya, Naqi, Sheida, and Carolien.
We all need friends or people who care about us. But are friendships the same all over the world? Or does cultural background influence how you deal with arguments for instance?These kinds of questions are especially relevant during adolescence, a period in which children become less focused on their parents and family, but more on their peers. It could be expected from a theoretical point of view that adolescents in a more collectivistic oriented culture, will less often opt for a confrontation in a peer conflict situation, whereasadolescents in more individualistic oriented cultures more often might want to stand up for themselves. Yet, how does this fit with the relatively high level of aggression among adolescents that is sometimes reported in a collectivistic culture, such as the Malaysian?
In this project we examine differences between Malaysian and Dutch peer relationships, and factors related to this, such as levels of individualism, collectivism, aggression and emotion regulation. In Malaysia, 1200 high school pupils already filled out questionnaires, supervised by Naqiuddin Dahamat Azam. This autumn, the Dutch data collection will start under the supervision of Marinka Dorrepaal.
After he finished collecting data in Selangor (one of the thirteen states in Malaysia), Naqi travelled another 500 miles to collect data in three other states (Johor, Kedah and Kelantan). In these states, Naqi gathered data from another 1173 participants before returning to the Netherlands. He is now analysing the data, and we are curious to see what the influence is of different social backgrounds and living environments on children's development.
After a successful pilot session in the beginning of 2014, Naqi is now back in Malaysia for data collection. On the pictures you can see him coordinating a large class of students in Selangor, one of Malaysia's 13 states. In Selangor, Naqi has already collected data from 258 adolescents in two secondary schools. He will collect more data in other states, to define the influence of the environment on adolescents and their behaviour.
Naqi visited Malaysia to conduct a pilot study to analyze whether the translated questionnaires work appropriately. In this study, Naqi examines several factors (such as coping strategies) that affect adolescent aggression in two different countries, Malaysia and the Netherlands. A total of 167 secondary school students from a school located near Kuala Lumpur participated in this pilot. The preliminary results look promising, and we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the school management team (the principal, the deputy principal), the counselors and the students for their cooperation in our study.