A Comparative Study of College Students’ Cultural Orientation ...

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The current study compared responses from young people on cultural orientation, aging attitudes, and aging anxiety in Japan, China, and the United States. A total of 1,136 college students (357 Japanese, 434 Chinese, and 345 American) filled out a questionnaire that included an IC Scale (Cultural Orientation Scale), Kogan’s Attitudes toward Old People Scale, and a modified Aging Anxiety Scale, in addition to demographic information. Cronbach’s alphas indicated satisfactory reliability on all three scales for the three groups. The results indicate that the Japanese were significantly more collectivistic than both the Chinese and American participants, but the three groups all scored higher on collectivism than individualism overall. Findings also show that the American participants held significantly more positive attitudes toward aging and were significantly less anxious about aging than their Japanese and Chinese counterparts. For all three groups, collectivistic cultural orientation was positively correlated to attitudes toward aging, and for the Japanese and American participants, it is negatively related to anxiety level. A number of sex differences were also found. These results are discussed in the context of culture, globalization, and the evolving nature of both Western and Eastern traditional values.