University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
Texas A&M University – Kingsville, USA
Address for correspondence: Tyler L. Collette, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at San Antonio, MSC 117, 700, University Blvd., San Antonio, TX, USA. E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to examine children’s story preferences as a function of age and cultural orientation. Using Hofstede’s (1984) distinction between individualism and collectivism, we examined the extent to which younger (6–8 years old, n = 47, M = 6.94, SD = 0.94) and older (9–12 years old, n = 57, M = 10.35, SD = 1.14) children preferred stories that reflected their cultural orientation. Participants were children (N = 104) of various nationalities enrolled in a summer camp on the island of Mallorca, Spain. Children were classified as either individualist or collectivist using the Children’s Self-Construal Scale. Each child was read six stories, three of which reflected individualist values and three of which reflected collectivist values. Older children preferred stories that were consistent with their cultural orientation while younger children did not. The results suggest that the outcomes of culturally relevant socialization are not readily apparent until the later stages of middle childhood.
Keywords: Socialization, individualism, collectivism, storytelling, moral judgments