Community- and ego-centered life goals of male adolescents in Zambia: Methodological and theoretical considerations
|adolescence; culture; Gwembe Tonga; INTERGENERATIONAL TRANSMISSION; life goals; Psychology; Psychology, Educational; SELF; VALUES; Zambia
|HOGREFE & HUBER PUBLISHERS
|ZEITSCHRIFT FUR ENTWICKLUNGSPSYCHOLOGIE UND PADAGOGISCHE PSYCHOLOGIE
This article examines the relationship between the generation of life goals and an individual's cultural context. Data were collected from 250 male adolescents in Zambia, using the GOALS questionnaire concerning life goals. Results were significantly different from those indicated by a previous study using a sample of German students, particularly in the number of categories and the composition of the factors. In this study, factor analysis identified two categories of goals: community-centered life goals and ego-centered life goals. The Zambian adolescents evaluated community-centered life goals as significantly more important than ego-centered life goals. Differences could also be shown in the evaluation of both the attainability and the successful pursuance of community-centered life goals and ego-centered life goals. The difference between the two ethnic groups is interpreted on grounds of culture-specific socialization patterns. Traditional cultural orientations encourage strong ties between the individual and significant persons or groups, and such orientations continue to influence explicit motives (life goals) of the adolescents in Zambia. The influence of foreign cultural elements, e.g., mediated through formal school education, on the adolescents' generation of life goals seems to be moderate.
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