Values moderate age differences in relationship orientation

Helene H. FUNG*, Yuen Wan HO, Kim Pong TAM, Jeanne TSAI, Xin ZHANG

*Corresponding author for this work

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

9 Citations (Scopus)


This study tests the postulate that the cultural differences in age-related relationship orientation are moderated by values. The sample included 268 European Americans and 268 Chinese Americans, aged 20-90. years. Age positively correlated with relationship orientation (Ren Qing) among Chinese Americans but not among European Americans. However, values moderated these age differences. The association between age and relationship orientation became positive among European Americans who valued Tradition (seeking group acceptance) more. Conversely, the positive association between age and relationship orientation was weaker among Chinese Americans who valued Hedonism (seeking individual pleasure) more. These findings suggest that people from each culture develop their relationship orientation with age according to what they value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994-999
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number7
Early online date11 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research was supported by a Direct Grant for Research from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. This study is a secondary analysis of data collected for another study supported by a National Institute of Aging RO3 Grant to Jeanne Tsai.


  • Age differences
  • Chinese Americans
  • European Americans
  • Relationship orientation
  • Ren Qing
  • Value


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