The nature of independent and interdependent self-construals: A focus on psychological relatedness.

Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Cramer, K.


Psychology, Social.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Through the socialization of modes of thinking and behaving, ethnocultural background and gender can shape different orientations in one's sense of self. These self-construals are conceptualized as independence (i.e., priority to the individual, stresses autonomy) and interdependence (i.e., priority to an in-group, stresses conformity; Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Singelis, 1994). Within these self-construals, connectedness with others is also possible. The psychology of relatedness was examined in the present study, operationalized as romanticism (orientation toward the welfare of one's romantic relationship), and familism (orientation toward the welfare of one's immediate and extended family). The study examined the relationships among these factors in a sample of 324 male and female undergraduate psychology students of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds. Participants completed measures of independent and interdependent self-construal (Singelis, 1994), familism (Gaines, Marelich et al., 1997), romantic beliefs (Sprecher & Metts, 1989), and an open-ended measure of self (Kuhn & McPartland, 1954). It was predicted that European Canadian males would have significantly higher independent selves than non-European Canadian males and females and European Canadian females, and that non-European Canadian females will score significantly higher on interdependent self-construal than non-European Canadian males and European Canadian males and females. It was also predicted that independent self-construal would be significantly and positively related to romanticism, and that interdependent self-construal would be significantly and positively related to familism. Results showed that none of the measures reliably differentiated between respondents of European versus non-European ethnocultural background. However, women did respond with more allocentric and small group responses than did men and men did respond with more idiocentric responses than did women when describing their self. Both familism and romanticism were significantly and positively related to an interdependent self-construal. These results call into question ethnocultural differences in self that are so often reported in the literature, and also call for future investigation of gender differences in relationality.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2001 .G73. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 63-04, Section: B, page: 2107. Adviser: Ken Cramer. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2001.