Citizen-making : the role of national goals for socializing children

Michael Harris BOND, Vivian Miu-Chi LUN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The ecological, political, religious and economic constraints and opportunities characterizing a nation crystallize to set the agenda for socializing children, its future citizens. Parented accordingly, members of those nations would come to adopt the values, beliefs, skills and attitudes that constitute the requisite human capital to sustain that nation. This study reports on the profiling of 55 nations by two dimensions of the socialization goals for children extracted from the World Values Survey, viz., Self-directedness versus Other-directedness, and Civility versus Practicality. An affluent, less corrupt and more gender-equal society is associated with greater focus on Self-directedness and Civility. Both dimensions show convergent and discriminant validities in their correlation with nation-level psychosocial variables such as citizen subjective well-being, values, beliefs, pace of life and trust of out-groups. These dimensions are also shown to connect a nation's ecological construct to the outcomes of its citizens, adding a psychological-developmental perspective to examine nation-building and cultural transmission.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Science Research
Early online date14 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Socialization goals for children
  • National analysis
  • National ecology
  • Citizen psychosocial outcomes
  • World Value Survey


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