HomePhilippine Journal of Psychologyvol. 36 no. 2 (2003)

Self-Complexity, Self-Construal, and Negative Emotion in Filipino Adolescents

Liane Peña-alampay

Discipline: Psychology



Two features of the Filipino adolescent self were explored: self-complexity, referring to the number and degree of differentiation among self-aspects, and self-construal, or how the self is conceived in relation to others. The relationship between these facets and the experience of negative emotions in adolescence was also determined. Participants were 207 12- to 21- year-olds who were administered a trait-sorting task to measure self-complexity, and self-report scales assessing degree of independence and interdependence in self-construals, and the extent of experienced identity confusion, emotional extremity, anxiety, and self-devaluation. Self structures were found to be multifaceted and differentiated, as well as relational and situation-bound in content. Complexity increased across age, bearing out social-cognitive perspectives on self development. While predominantly interdependent, self-construals also endorsed independent attitudes and values, suggesting a more bicultural self in Filipino youth. Only emotionality was related to self-complexity, with greater complexity associated with higher levels of emotionality.