Individualism and Collectivism: What Differences between Portuguese and Romanian Adolescents?

Article excerpt

This article presents the results of a series of preliminary comparisons, between the Portuguese and Romanian cultural contexts, on the individualism-collectivism (IND/COL) cultural dimension. The IND/COL was evaluated with the Individualism-Collectivism Questionnaire - ICQ -, constructed in New Zealand by Shulruf, Hattie and Dixon (2003, Anonymous Questionnaire of Self-Attitudes - AQSA), and adapted to the Portuguese and Romanian contexts by Ciochinã and Faria (2007), using studies of confirmatory factor analysis. The ICQ composed by 26 items, 15 evaluating the IND scale - with three subscales (Uniqueness, Competition and Responsibility) -, and 11 evaluating the COL scale - with two subscales (Harmony and Advice) -, was administered to 395 subjects, 200 Portuguese and 195 Romanian, 10th and 12th graders. On the whole, in the Portuguese and Romanian samples, the multivariate and univariate statistical analyses evidenced the existence of two independent variables - gender and cultural context -, with significant effects, main and of interaction, on the scales and subscales of the ICQ. The results were discussed taking into consideration the specificities of the educational systems in the two cultural contexts, which are inevitably shaped by socio-cultural factors characteristic of the two countries considered in the present study - Portugal and Romania.

Keywords: cultural context, individualism-collectivism, gender.

Este artículo expone los resultados de una serie de comparaciones preliminares entre los contextos culturales portugués y rumano en la dimensión cultural individualismo-colectivismo (IND/COL). IND/COL se evaluó con el Individualism-Collectivism Questionnaire - ICQ - construido en Nueva Zelanda por Shulruf, Hattie y Dixon (2003, el Anonymous Questionnaire of Self-Attitudes - AQSA) - adaptado a los contextos portugués y rumano por Ciochina< y Faria (2007), empleando estudios de análisis factorial confirmatorio. El ICQ se compone de 26 ítems, 15 que evalúan la escala IND - con tres subescalas (Unicidad, Competición y Responsabilidad)- y 11 que evalúan la escala COL - con dos subescalas (Armonía y Consejo) - se administró a 395 sujetos, 200 portugueses y 195 rumanos, alumnos de 10a y 12a. En general, en las muestras portuguesa y rumana, los análisis estadísticos multivariados y univariados revelaron la existencia de dos variables independientes - género y contexto cultural -, con efectos significativos, tanto principal como de interacción, en las escalas y subescalas del ICQ. Se comentan los resultados considerando las especificidades de los sistemas educativos en los dos contextos culturales, inevitablemente moldeados por factores socioculturales característicos de los dos países considerados en este estudio - Portugal and Rumania.

Palabras clave: contexto cultural, individualismo-colectivismo, género.

The fact that individuals live and behave in a particular socio-cultural context makes necessary the analysis of their psychological development in the light of the specificities of this very context. The aim of such an approach is to compare different psychosocial behaviours of individuals from various cultural contexts in order to verify what cultural variation factors influence the expression of these behaviours.

Thus, in the framework of Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology studies, the individualism-collectivism (IND/COL) constructs have been considered as essential axes of cultural variation. In this sense, and following the nuclear argument according to which cultural differences are due to differences in the way cultures sample from their environment pertinent information for their functioning, Triandis (1999) points out the distinction between individualistic cultures - which, in order to understand, explain and interpret the experiences of their psychosocial reality, sample predominantly personal and internal attributes of individuals - and collectivistic cultures - which, for that, sample more interpersonal relationships, social roles, duties and obligations of individuals in relation to their in-group. …