Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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Parental socialization goals are informed by culture. In previous research, it was often assumed that parents in western countries value individualistic socialization goals more, while collectivistic socialization goals are more pronounced in eastern countries. In addition, in Kağitçibasi’s framework, the importance of education and rural or urbanized living surroundings is pronounced, resulting in a third type of cultural model, in which individualistic goals are highly valued, but close family ties continue to be important. Previous research has been inconclusive regarding country differences. One major shortcoming is the lack of testing for measurement invariance (MI). Missing MI might bias results. In the current study, we surveyed five socialization goals (autonomy, self-development, group harmony, obedience and collectivism) in an online study with parents in the USA, China, Russia, Mexico and Germany (N=500). We first tested for MI using the Multigroup Confirmatory Factor Analysis approach and the Bayesian Approximate MI approach. In a second step, we tested for country differences and the impact of country, education and urbanization on socialization goals, while taking into account the results of the invariance test. We found partial/approximate MI for four of the five scales. Contrary to our expectations, group comparisons yielded a very mixed picture of latent means not supporting an individualistic/collectivistic distinction but also not fully matching Kağitçibasi’s framework. Yet, education and living surroundings had no impact on socialization goals.


Ronja A. Runge - ORCID identifier: 0000-0001-7564-3690

Renate Soellner- ORCID identifier: 0000-0002-6732-9076

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ronja A. Runge, Institut für Psychologie, Stiftung Universität Hildesheim, Universitätsplatz 1, 31141 Hildesheim, E-Mail:, phone: +49512188310964

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose.

Data collection of the present study was funded by PsychLab, a service of the Leibniz Institute for Psychology (ZPID). 

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