Associations of Collectivism with Relationship Commitment, Passion, and Mate Preferences: Opposing Roles of Parental Influence and Family Allocentrism
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In collectivist cultures, families tend to be characterized by respect for parental authority and strong, interdependent ties. Do these aspects of collectivism exert countervailing pressures on mate choices and relationship quality? In the present research, we found that collectivism was associated with greater acceptance of parental influence over mate choice, thereby driving relationship commitment down (Studies 1 and 2), but collectivism was also associated with stronger family ties (referred to as family allocentrism), which drove commitment up (Study 2). Along similar lines, Study 1 found that collectivists' greater acceptance of parental influence on mate choice contributed to their reduced relationship passion, whereas Study 2 found that their greater family allocentrism may have enhanced their passion. Study 2 also revealed that collectivists may have reported a smaller discrepancy between their own preferences for mates high in warmth and trustworthiness and their perception of their parents' preferences for these qualities because of their stronger family allocentrism. However, their higher tolerance of parental influence may have also contributed to a smaller discrepancy in their mate preferences versus their perceptions of their parents' preferences for qualities signifying status and resources. Implications for the roles of collectivism, parental influence, and family allocentrism in relationship quality and mate selection will be discussed.
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