Reference : Family First: Evidence of Consistency and Variation in the Value of Family Versus Per...
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Social, industrial & organizational psychology
Migration and Inclusive Societies
Family First: Evidence of Consistency and Variation in the Value of Family Versus Personal Happiness Across 49 Different Cultures
Krys, Kuba [Polish Academy of Sciences]
Yeung, June Chun [Polish Acacemy of Sciences]
Haas, Brian W. [University of Georgia]
Murdock, Elke mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS) >]
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
SAGE Publications
New York
United States - New York
[en] family ; happiness ; well-being ; interdependent happiness ; life satisfaction ; culture ; relational mobility
[en] People care about their own well-being and about the well-being of their families. It is currently,
however, unknown how much people tend to value their own versus their family’s well-being.
A recent study documented that people value family happiness over personal happiness across
four cultures. In this study, we sought to replicate this finding across a larger sample size
(N = 12,819) and a greater number of countries (N = 49). We found that the strength of
the idealization of family over personal happiness preference was small (average Cohen’s ds = .20, range −.02 to.48), but present in 98% of the studied countries, with statistical significance
in 73% to 75%, and variance across countries <2%. We also found that the size of this effect
did vary somewhat across cultural contexts. In Latin American cultures highest on relational
mobility, the idealization of family over personal happiness was very small (average Cohen’s ds
for Latin America = .15 and .18), while in Confucian Asia cultures lowest on relational mobility,
this effect was closer to medium (ds > .40 and .30). Importantly, we did not find strong support
for traditional theories in cross-cultural psychology that associate collectivism with greater
prioritization of the family versus the individual; country-level individualism–collectivism was not
associated with variation in the idealization of family versus individual happiness. Our findings
indicate that no matter how much various populists abuse the argument of “protecting family
life” to disrupt emancipation, family happiness seems to be a pan-culturally phenomenon. Family
well-being is a key ingredient of social fabric across the world, and should be acknowledged by
psychology and well-being researchers and by progressive movements too.

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