Adolescents’ values, relationship quality and support given to parents and grandparents. A German-Polish comparison

Mayer, Boris; Lubiewska, Katarzyna; Trommsdorff, Gisela (19 August 2009). Adolescents’ values, relationship quality and support given to parents and grandparents. A German-Polish comparison (Unpublished). In: XIV European Conference on Developmental Psychology. Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania. 18.08.-22.08.2009.

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Background. This study compares German and Polish adolescents with regard to their cultural values, relationship quality with, and the extent of support given to their parents and grandparents. Furthermore, it explores whether and in how far cultural differences in value orientations account for differences in relationship quality and intergenerational support.
Method. The study is part of the international “Value of Children and Intergenerational Relations” project. Participants were n = 311 German (56% female) and n = 281 Polish (60% female) adolescents between 13 and 18 years.
Results. German adolescents reported more individualistic and less collectivistic values than Polish adolescents, and Polish adolescents reported substantially higher traditional family values than German adolescents. Polish as compared to German adolescents reported a more intimate relationship with their grandmother. Few differences appeared with regard to the relationship quality with parents. Polish adolescents also reported slightly more emotional support given to parents and considerably more practical support given to their grandmother than German adolescents. When asked to decide between helping their parents with some chores or meeting their friends, two thirds of Polish adolescents would help their parents whereas only one third of German adolescents would do so. While individualism was unrelated, collectivism and family values were positively related to relationship quality and support in both cultures. Collectivism and family values partly explained cross-cultural differences in relationship quality and intergenerational support.
Conclusions. The results point to cross-cultural differences in terms of the dominating family model in Germany and Poland. Polish adolescents can be characterized by a more interdependent family model (Kagitcibasi, 2007) than German adolescents, especially with respect to the grandparent-grandchild relationship and with respect to the willingness to support parents and grandparents. Finally, cross-cultural differences in value orientations are related to cross-cultural differences in family relationships.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology

UniBE Contributor:

Mayer, Boris


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Boris Mayer

Date Deposited:

28 Oct 2020 15:42

Last Modified:

28 Oct 2020 15:42




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