Autonomy-connectedness, acculturation, and independence-interdependence among various cultural groups in a multicultural society

Marrie H.J. Bekker*, Judit Arends-Tóth, Marcel A. Croon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The present study was aimed at investigating the relationships between autonomy-connectedness and adherence to independent and interdependent values in second-generation Dutch immigrant women with a background in countries labeled as collectivistic, and same-aged indigenous Dutch women (N= 180 and N= 157, respectively). Both groups completed the Autonomy-Connectedness Scale (ACS-30; Bekker & Van Assen, 2006) and the Self-Construal Scale (Singelis, 1994). Additionally, those with an immigrant background filled out the Acculturation Questionnaire (Arends-Tóth & Van de Vijver, 2003). Contrary to expectations, both groups had similar levels of self-awareness, whereas the indigenous Dutch women were - after controlling for educational level - more sensitive to others. In both groups, but even more in the group with an immigrant background, adherence to independent values appeared to contribute substantially and positively to self-awareness as well as capacity for managing new situations, and negatively to sensitivity to others. In addition, adherence to interdependent values contributed, for both groups, positively to sensitivity to others, and, for those with an immigrant background, negatively to self-awareness. The ACS-30 appeared to be useful for assessing autonomy-connectedness in the immigrant groups that participated in the study. The results confirm that a simple distinction between native and immigrant Dutch groups in terms of being self- or other-focused should be rejected, and give rise to further, clinically relevant research questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-376
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Acculturation
  • Autonomy
  • Connectedness
  • Independence
  • Interdependence
  • Migration
  • Self-image


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