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Cross-cultural research is burgeoning. Behavioral and social sciences such as psychology, sociology, management, marketing, and political science witness a steady increase in cross-cultural studies. For example, during the last decades, there has been a consistently increasing number of psychological studies on cross-cultural similarities and differences (Boer, Hanke, & He, 2018; Smith, Harb, Lonner, & Van de Vijver, 2001; Van de Vijver & Lonner, 1995). The increased interest is undoubtedly inspired by various factors, such as the opening of previously sealed international borders, large migration streams, globalization of the economic market, international tourism, increased cross-cultural communications, and technological innovations such as new means of telecommunication.
In the previous chapters, typical problems and pitfalls of cross-cultural research were discussed and solutions proposed. The current chapter briefly integrates the major methodological issues into eight statements. Each statement is followed by an explanation. The last section is devoted to our view on the future of cross-cultural research.
This chapter contains a description of the sampling of cultures, design, data analysis, and major strengths and weaknesses of the eight types of cross-cultural studies described in Chapter 2: structure- and level-oriented psychological differences studies; structure- and level-oriented generalizability studies; structure- and level-oriented contextual linkage exploration studies; and structure- and level-oriented contextual linkage validation studies. The structure- and level-oriented studies differ primarily in the analyses employed, so their presentation is integrated. A schematic overview is given in Table 5.1.
This book addresses the methodological features of cross-cultural research. The common characteristic of such studies is their comparative nature, which involves the comparison of at least two cultural populations. Many studies involve different nation states, in sociology (e.g., Inglehart & Welzel, 2010; Van Deth, Montero, & Westholm, 2007), education (e.g., Arnove, Torres, & Franz, 2012; Van de Werfhorst & Mijs, 2010), political sciences (e.g., Coffé & Bolzendahl, 2010; Poguntke & Webb, 2007), management (e.g., House et al., 2004), and psychology (e.g., Schmitt, Allik, McCrae, & Benet-Martínez, 2007). However, comparative studies can also involve different ethnic groups from a single country such as the comparison of ethnic groups in the United States (e.g., Trinidad, Pérez-Stable, White, Emery, & Messer, 2011) and in Europe (Phalet & Kosic, 2006).
Two closely related concepts play an essential role in cross-cultural comparisons, namely equivalence and bias (Poortinga, 1989; Van de Vijver, 2015). There is no consensual definition of either concept in the cross-cultural literature. Johnson (1998) identified more than fifty types of definitions of equivalence, addressing dissimilar features, such as constructs, methodology, language, and context. All definitions refer to some aspect that is shared across cultures or to a qualitative or quantitative procedure to establish the shared features. A review of bias approaches would probably show a comparable variety.
Four procedures for sampling cultures can be discerned (cf. Boehnke, Lietz, Schreier, & Wilhelm, 2011). In convenience sampling, researchers select a culture simply because of considerations of convenience. These considerations can derive from various sources; researchers may be from that culture, are acquainted with collaborators from that culture, or happen to stay there for a period of time. The choice of culture is not related to the theoretical questions raised and is often haphazard. Studies adopting this sampling scheme often fall into the category of psychological differences studies.
Data analysis in cross-cultural research involves more than the preparation of the correct instructions to run a computer program of a statistical package. It is a link in the long chain of empirical research that starts with the specification of a theoretical framework and ends with drawing conclusions. Strategic decisions in the data analysis such as the choice of statistical techniques can only be made on the basis of a combination of substantive considerations such as the research questions or hypotheses involved and statistical considerations such as measurement level and sample size.
This book gives an up-to-date overview of methodological and data-analytical issues of cross-cultural studies. Written by leading experts in the field, it presents the most important tools for doing cross-cultural research and outlines design considerations, methods, and analytical techniques that can improve ecological validity and help researchers to avoid pitfalls in cross-cultural psychology. By focusing on the relevant research questions that can be tackled with particular methods, it provides practical guidance on how to translate conceptual questions into decisions on study design and statistical techniques. Featuring examples from cognitive and educational assessment, personality, health, and intercultural communication and management, and illustrating key techniques in feature boxes, this concise and accessible guide is essential reading for researchers, graduate students, and professionals who work with culture-comparative data.
Student's t test is valid for statistical inference under the normality assumption or asymptotically. By contrast, although the bootstrap t test was proposed in 1993, it is seldom adopted in medical research. We aim to demonstrate that the bootstrap t test outperforms Student's t test under normality in data. Using random data samples from normal distributions, we evaluated the testing performance, in terms of true-positive rate (TPR) and false-positive rate and diagnostic abilities, in terms of the area under the curve (AUC), of the bootstrap t test and Student's t test. We explore the AUC of both tests with varying sample size and coefficient of variation. We compare the testing outcomes using the COVID-19 serial interval (SI) data in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, China, for demonstration. With fixed TPR, the bootstrap t test maintained the equivalent accuracy in TPR, but significantly improved the true-negative rate from the Student's t test. With varying TPR, the diagnostic ability of bootstrap t test outperformed or equivalently performed as Student's t test in terms of the AUC. The equivalent performances are possible but rarely occur in practice. We find that the bootstrap t test outperforms by successfully detecting the difference in COVID-19 SI, which is defined as the time interval between consecutive transmission generations, due to sex and non-pharmaceutical interventions against the Student's t test. We demonstrated that the bootstrap t test outperforms Student's t test, and it is recommended to replace Student's t test in medical data analysis regardless of sample size.
Maternal migraine may contribute to mental heath problems in offspring but empirical evidence has been available only for bipolar disorders. Our objective was to examine the association between maternal migraine and the risk of any and specific psychiatric disorders in offspring.
This population-based cohort study used individual-level linked Danish national health registers. Participants were all live-born singletons in Denmark during 1978–2012 (n = 2 069 785). Follow-up began at birth and continued until the onset of a psychiatric disorder, death, emigration or 31 December 2016, whichever came first. Cox proportional hazards model was employed to calculate the hazard ratios (HRs) of psychiatric disorders.
Maternal migraine was associated with a 26% increased risk of any psychiatric disorders in offspring [HR, 1.26; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.22–1.30]. Increased rates of psychiatric disorders were seen in all age groups from childhood to early adulthood. Increased rates were also observed for most of the specific psychiatric disorders, in particular, mood disorders (HR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.39–1.67), neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders (HR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.37–1.52) and specific personality disorders (HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.27–1.70), but not for intellectual disability (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.71–1.00) or eating disorders (HR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.93–1.29). The highest risk was seen in the offspring of mothers with migraine and comorbid psychiatric disorders (HR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.99–2.28).
Maternal migraine was associated with increased risks of a broad spectrum of psychiatric disorders in offspring. Given the high prevalence of migraine, our findings highlight the importance of better management of maternal migraine at childbearing ages for early prevention of psychiatric disorders in offspring.
Higher intakes of Na may contribute to weight gain. The primary aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine the relationship between dietary Na intake and measures of adiposity in children and adults. Given the previous link between Na intake and the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), which are a known risk factor for obesity, a secondary aim examining the relationship between Na intake and SSB consumption was assessed. A systematic literature search identified cross-sectional and longitudinal studies and randomised controlled trials (RCT) which reduced dietary Na (≥3 months). Meta-analysis was performed for outcomes with ≥3 studies. Cross-sectionally higher Na intakes were associated with overweight/obesity in adults (five studies; n 11 067; OR 1·74; 95 % CI 1·43, 2·13) and in children (three studies; n 3625, OR 3·29; 95 % CI 2·25, 4·80), and abdominal obesity (five studies; n 19 744; OR 2·04; 95 % CI 1·72, 2·42) in adults. Overall, associations remained in sensitivity analyses which adjusted for energy. Findings from longitudinal studies were inconsistent. RCT in adults indicated a trend for lower body weight on reduced-Na compared with control diets (fifteen studies; n 5274; −0·29 kg; 95 % CI −0·59, 0·01; P = 0·06); however, it is unclear if energy intakes were also altered on reduced-Na diets. Among children higher Na intakes were associated with higher intake of SSB (four studies, n 10 329, b = 22, 16 and 26 g/d); no studies were retrieved for adults. Overall, there was a lack of high-quality studies retrieved. While cross-sectional evidence indicates Na intake was positively associated with adiposity, these findings have not been clearly confirmed by longitudinal studies or RCT.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is a disease with a high case-fatality rate that is caused by infection with the SFTS virus (SFTSV). Five electronic databases were systematically searched to identify relevant articles published from 1 January 2011 to 1 December 2019. The pooled rates with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated by a fixed-effect or random-effect model analysis. The results showed that 92 articles were included in this meta-analysis. For the confirmed SFTS cases, the case-fatality rate was 0.15 (95% CI 0.11, 0.18). Two hundred and ninety-six of 1384 SFTS patients indicated that they had been bitten by ticks and the biting rate was 0.21 (95% CI 0.16, 0.26). The overall pooled seroprevalence of SFTSV antibodies among the healthy population was 0.04 (95% CI 0.03, 0.05). For the overall seroprevalence of SFTSV in animals, the seroprevalence of SFTSV was 0.25 (95% CI 0.20, 0.29). The infection rate of SFTSV in ticks was 0.08 (95% CI 0.05, 0.11). In conclusion, ticks can serve as transmitting vectors of SFTSVs and reservoir hosts. Animals can be infected by tick bites, and as a reservoir host, SFTSV circulates continuously between animals and ticks in nature. Humans are infected by tick bites and direct contact with patient secretions.