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Socialization for independence and interdependence in Canadian and South Asian immigrant families in Canada Open Access


Other title
Cultural socialization
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Nagpal, Jaya
Supervisor and department
Nicoladis, Elena (Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Clancy, Patricia. M. (Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara)
Kirova, Anna (Early childhood education)
Galambos, Nancy (Psychology)
Noels, Kimberly (Psychology)
Department of Psychology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
In this study I compared independence and interdependence in Canadian (N = 43) and South Asian immigrant mothers (N =49) and their children (Canadian: N = 44, South Asian: N = 47), living in Edmonton, which is an Anglophone city in Western Canada. Canada and South Asia have been classified as individualistic and collectivistic cultures respectively (Hofstede, 1980). I used self-report measures to assess mothers’ inter/independence orientations on several dimensions, namely family allocentrism, Asian values, self-construal, traditionalism and modernity. In addition, I assessed socialization for independence or interdependence in a story-telling task with mothers and children. I found that South Asians were more interdependent in private domains such as family relations and independent in public domains such as employment and education. Mothers in both cultures gave importance to the development of independence as well as interdependence in their children. However, in the story-telling task, South Asian mothers encouraged more interdependence than Canadian mothers. South Asian children also showed more interdependent orientations than Canadian children. This study demonstrates that a domain-specific description best explains people’s independence and interdependence. In addition, this study also emphasizes the utility of using a mixed methods approach to understand the socialization process.
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