Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Stacey N. Doan

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© 2023 Akriti Poudel


The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between cultural orientation, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and depression. Horizontal collectivism (HC) has been shown to be predictive of positive psychological adjustment (Oh, 2022; Schermer et al., 2023), but the extent to which the individual’s level of HC matches with the group is not well understood. RSA has traditionally been conceptualized as a measure of adaptive functioning; (Graziano & Derefinko, 2013; Qu & Leerkes, 2018, Hinnant et al., 2011) however, more recent research has proposed that RSA is better conceptualized as a marker of susceptibility to environmental influences (Sturge-Apple et al., 2016). In this paper, I examine the extent to which cultural orientation fit may moderate the relations between RSA and depression. Cultural orientation was measured using the Cultural Orientation Scale (Triandis & Gelfland, 1998), while RSA was measured using the Polar H10 band, and depression was measured using the Beck Depression Inventory (Beck, 1996). Regression analyses revealed that RSA was a predictor of lower depression levels when there was cultural fit such that levels of participant horizontal collectivism matched that of the group. These findings contribute to the field of psychology by providing a deeper understanding of the mind-body relationship and the role of culture in mental health outcomes. Further research is necessary to expand upon these findings and to explore the complexities of the relationship between cultural orientation, RSA, and depression.

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