Independence and Interdependence Values in Changing Societies: A Three-Generation Comparative Study in Estonia, Germany, and Russia

Pirko Tõugu, Tiia Tulviste, Kairi Kasearu, Kairi Talves, Isabelle Albert


Independent and interdependent self-construal values of three generations and the intergenerational similarity of self-construal was compared in three countries. The participants were 837 adolescents, their mothers (227 from Russia, 311 from Germany, and 299 from Estonia) and 293 maternal grandmothers. In Germany, all three generations displayed higher scores on independence than participants from other countries. Russian participants had higher scores on interdependence compared to participants from other countries. Adolescents scored significantly higher on the interdependent self-construal than the two older generations, and higher than the mothers’ generation on the independent self-construal. Grandmothers’ self-construal was related to mothers’ in all three countries. In Germany and Estonia, mothers’ interdependent self-construal was related to adolescents’ interdependent self-construal. Grandmothers’ (but not mothers’) independent self-construal predicted adolescents’ independent self-construal. The results are discussed in light of the Family Change Theory and the different roles the participants have.


independence; interdependence; self-construal; intergenerational value similarity; cross-cultural comparison

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