Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Encouraging autonomy in a collectivist culture: Examining parental autonomy support in Ghana and the moderating effect of children's self-construal
by Marbell, Kristine N., Ph.D., Clark University, 2014, 110; 3642806
Abstract (Summary)

It is unclear whether parental autonomy support is related to positive outcomes for adolescents in collectivist and hierarchical societies, where values of deference to authority and putting the community's needs above oneself are encouraged. The current study examined the relations of specific autonomy supportive behaviors to adolescent outcomes in Ghana, a country described as collectivist and hierarchical, and compared findings to the US which has been described as individualist and egalitarian. In addition, it examined whether adolescents' self-construals influenced the relation of specific types of autonomy support with outcomes. A mixed-methods design was used. Participants in the quantitative portion of the study were 401 seventh and eighth graders from Ghana (N = 156) and the US (N = 245). Participants in the qualitative portion were 8 Ghanaian parents. Factor analyses indicated two distinct types of autonomy support: perspective-taking and allowance of decision-making. Perspective-taking was found to be a valid measure of parents' autonomy support in both countries, however allowance of decision-making was valid only in the US and not in Ghana. Additionally, in the US, perspective-taking was a unique predictor (over allowance of decision-making) of positive outcomes. Results also suggested that adolescents' self-construal significantly moderated the relationship between autonomy support and outcomes such that the more independent adolescents' self-construal, the stronger the relation of decision-making to autonomous motivation and other measures of well-being. Results are discussed in terms of how parents can provide autonomy support in ways congruent with the cultural context in which they live.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Grolnick, Wendy S.
Commitee: Cardemil, Esteban, Correa-Chavez, Maricela
School: Clark University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: DAI-B 76/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African Studies, Clinical psychology, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Autonomy, Culture, Ghana, Motivation, Parenting, Self-construal
Publication Number: 3642806
ISBN: 978-1-321-29937-3
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