Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal


Belinskaya E.P. Social representations about disease and coping strategies: cross-cultural analysis

Full text in Russian: Белинская Е. П. Представления о болезни и стратегии совладания с ней: кросскультурный анализ

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
Psychological Institute, Moscow, Russia
Moscow State Regional University, Moscow, Russia

About author
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Cross-cultural comparison of the social representations of the disease shows that there are invariants: the kernel-basis of representations is the category of pain, and the contents of the peripheries form the categories related to depressive emotional state. The differences are that for the respondents of Tashkent this is characterized by the use in the kernel of representations the categories related to tangible aspects of the disease and its acceptance as an aspect of fate. The Moscow-based respondents generally use the categories that reflect the position of the active control of disease, at the same time the periphery of representations form concepts related to disturbing emotional state. Cultural invariants of coping strategies with the disease as a difficult life situation are common more with the patients than with the relatives that take care about the patients, and are in preference to passive and emotional coping strategies. The Tashkent sample is distinguished by the predominance of search of social support, and the Moscow – by the strategies of self-control that reflects the characteristics of collectivist and individualistic cultures.

Keywords: disease as a difficult life situation, social representations, coping strategies, cross-cultural differences


The study was supported by Russian Foundation for Humanities, project 14-06-00640.


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Received 24 August 2016. Date of publication: 14 October 2016.

About author

Belinskaya Elena P. Ph.D, Professor, Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, ul. Mokhovaya, 11–9, 125009 Moscow, Russia; senior researcher, Laboratory of Psychology of  Adolescent,  Psychological institute of Russian educational academy, ul. Mokhovaya, 9–4, 125009 Moscow, Russia;  senior researcher, Department of Psychology of  the Personality, Faculty of Psychology,  Moscow State Regional University, ul. Radio, 10A, 105005 Moscow, Russia.
E-mail: Этот адрес электронной почты защищен от спам-ботов. У вас должен быть включен JavaScript для просмотра.

Suggested citation

Belinskaya E.P. Social representations about disease and coping strategies: cross-cultural analysis. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 2016, Vol. 9, No. 49, p. 1. (in Russian, abstr. in English).

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