Some characteristics of social interactions among adolescents in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia
Mira Klarin,1 Ana Pororokovic,2 Slavica Šimic Šašic,1 Violeta Arnaudova3
1Department of Teacher and Preschool Teacher Education, University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia; 2Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia; 3Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Psychology, University of Ciril and Method, Skopje, Macedonia
Introduction: The bioecological model refers to the basic social needs that a person has satisfied through social interactions. In individualist cultures, the need for independence is emphasized with the aim of self-realization and personal achievement. In collectivist cultures, togetherness is encouraged and it prevails over individuality.
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine whether there were differences in adolescents (n = 1033) from three different cultural environments (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia) with regard to the various aspects of the social interactions and behaviors these adolescents exercise with their parents and friends.
Methods: Three groups of questionnaires were used: those that measure family interactions (the quality of family interactions, loneliness in the family, and family influence); those that assess peer interactions (quality of friendships, social loneliness, and influence of friendships); and those that examined behavioral variables (self-esteem, aggression, and prosocialness).
Results: Discriminant analysis has shown that there are two significant functions that differentiate subjects from the three different cultural environments. The first discriminant function that adequately discriminates between subjects in all three cultural environments is related to social and family loneliness and the influence of friends. Loneliness in the family, social loneliness, and influence of friends are most prevalent among adolescents in Macedonia and least among adolescents in Croatia. The second function that distinguished adolescents in Croatia from those in the other two cultural environments was primarily connected with the quality of family interactions, aggressiveness, parent influence, and self-esteem. Finally, it was found that adolescents from Bosnia and Herzegovina were more likely to engage in family interactions, have greater levels of parental influence, and appeared to be less aggressive and had lower self-esteem than adolescents from the other two regions.
Keywords: cultural differences, individualist, collectivist, family interactions, group interactions
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