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Honor, face, and dignity norm endorsement among diverse North American adolescents: Development of a Social Norms Survey

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This article reports on an examination of the psychometric properties and validity of a new self-report instrument for assessing the social norms that coordinate social relations and define self-worth within three normative systems.


A survey that assesses endorsement of honor, face, and dignity norms was evaluated in ethnically diverse adolescent samples in the United States (Study 1a) and Canada (Study 2). The internal structure of the survey was consistent with the conceptual framework, but only the honor and face scales were reliable. Honor endorsement was linked to self-reported retaliation, less conciliatory behavior, and high perceived threat. Face endorsement was related to anger suppression, more conciliatory behavior, and, in the United States, low perceived threat. Study 1b examined identity-relevant emotions and appraisals experienced after retaliation and after calming a victimized peer. Honor norm endorsement predicted pride following revenge, while face endorsement predicted high shame. Adolescents who endorsed honor norms thought that only avenging their peer had been helpful and consistent with the role of good friend, while those who endorsed face norms thought only calming a victimized peer was helpful and indicative of a good friend. Implications for adolescent welfare are discussed. (publisher abstract modified)


Date Published: January 1, 2020