Implications of culture of honor theory and research for practitioners and prevention researchers

Pelin Gül, S. E. Cross, A. K. Uskul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Since the seminal publication of Nisbett and Cohen in 1996 linking the higher rates of violence in the Southern United States compared with the Northern United States to a "culture of honor," researchers have paid increasing attention to conceptualizing honor and identifying its underlying psychological mechanisms and its behavioral outcomes. The concern for reputation and other values embedded in culture of honor act as potential sociocultural risk factors for several major social problems in the United States. The aim of this article is to review the recent research on culture of honor and to discuss its societal implications by focusing on 3 pressing social problems: intimate partner aggression, school violence, and reluctance to seek mental health care. Relative to Whites in northern states, White populations in the southern and western states (considered to have cultures of honor) have higher levels of intimate partner violence, more school shootings, and are less likely to seek mental health care. We also briefly review the incidence of these issues among American Latinx groups, another culture of honor. We suggest ways that the scientific findings on culture of honor can enhance prevention and intervention efforts in education, health, and mental health care settings.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 10 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


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