DOI: 10.1002/acp.4123 ISSN:

Social‐distancing memories and well‐being in the cultural context

Qi Wang, Tong Suo
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


This study examined among diverse ethnic groups in the U.S. individuals' memories about social distancing at the onset of the COVID‐19 pandemic and how that was related to psychological well‐being. Participants recalled specific personal events related to social distancing in a memory fluency task and completed a battery of well‐being measures. Consistent with their respective cultural attitudes towards social distancing, Asian Americans remembered about social distancing in a more positive light than did European Americans, and positive social‐distancing memories predicted better psychological well‐being among Asians but not European Americans or other ethnic groups. These original findings shed new light on the role of culture in shaping autobiographical memory and mental health and have important implications for policies and targeted interventions.

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