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Friendship bonds, perceived parental support and self-esteem in children from individualist and collectivist cultures

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Friendship bonds, perceived parental support and self-esteem in children from individualist and collectivist cultures

Dayan, Joelle (1998) Friendship bonds, perceived parental support and self-esteem in children from individualist and collectivist cultures. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Individualist cultures emphasize independence, self-reliance, self-expressiveness, and emotional detachment in most of their relationships, whereas collectivist cultures emphasize interdependence, cooperation, maintaining harmony, and strong emotional attachment. Based on these differences, a goal of this study was to investigate how the social relationships of children vary across age as a function of belonging to an individualist or collectivist culture. It was also a goal to investigate whether the self-esteem of individualist and collectivist children was differentially influenced by receiving social support from particular individuals in their social networks. Participants included 601 children between 9 and 18 years of age who came from a variety of ethnic backgrounds (mainly Canadian/Quebecois, Greek, Arabic, and Caribbean). Participants completed a set of questionnaires during class-time on two separate occasions. Contrary to expectations, there was no difference between ethnic groups in terms of individualism/collectivism. Individualism/collectivism was, therefore, considered as a personality dimension (Realo, Allik & Vadi, 1997). As expected, collectivist children perceived their peer relationships to be more supportive than individualist children did. Collectivist elementary school children also reported fewer negative interactions in their peer relationships than individualist elementary school children. Contrary to expectations, there were no developmental differences between individualist and collectivist children in terms of provisions of support provided by mothers, best friends, and relatives. However, individualists and collectivists differed in their reported sources of intimacy and companionship. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses predicting global self-esteem from interactions of individualism-collectivism and social support from different members of the social network showed that the self-esteem of the most individualist children was predicted most strongly by social support from best friend, whereas there was no such prediction for the most collectivist children. Implications of these findings are that individualist and collectivist individuals will seek out different members of their social networks to satisfy various needs such as intimacy and companionship. Clinicians should be aware of these differences to help clients to find ways to maximize the social support they receive from their networks.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Dayan, Joelle
Pagination:xii, 147 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Dept. of Psychology
Date:1998
Thesis Supervisor(s):Doyle, Anna-Beth
ID Code:638
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:13
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:15
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