Relationships can bring happiness and protect health. High quality relationships are important because they are associated with better health and longer life whereas poor relationships or a lack of relationships pose a mortality risk that is comparable to cigarette smoking. At the same time, the relationship patterns of members of sociocultural contexts that emphasize prioritizing others before the self (i.e., U.S. Latinos and East Asians) have been historically problematized as “deficits” in research and policy. The findings of our work, however, show that sociocultural contexts that emphasize prioritizing others before the self (US Latinos and East Asians e.g.) can be beneficial for relationships and protective of health.
In three inter-related lines of research that are united by an overarching theoretical interest in the correlates and consequences of prioritizing others before the self, we study:
Factors and processes that characterize high quality relationships.
Positive emotions and their expressive display.
Whether sociocultural contexts that emphasize prioritizing others before the self shape relationships in ways that benefit psychological and physical health.