Impact of Culture on the Development of Value Conflict in Emerging Adulthood
Received Date: Nov 15, 2017 / Accepted Date: Feb 21, 2018 / Published Date: Feb 28, 2018
This study investigates the role of culture in developing value-conflicts during the early adulthood. A group of 102 university students from Germany and India were selected for this purpose. The value-conflict scale, developed by Bharadwaj, was used for determination of the value conflict amongst the students. It is discerned that there is an existing conflict regarding the values of Pragmatism vs. Idealism and Fear vs. Assertion values in both the students of India and Germany. A significant difference is found between the students of Germany and India with respect to the values of Evasion vs. Fortitude, Dependence vs. Self-reliance and Selfishness vs. Probity value. Students of both the countries fall towards the positive dimension ‘Love’ value, (sten Mean=6.40 and 6.19).
Keywords: Value-conflict; Early adulthood; Cultural background
The values of a person are the moral principles and beliefs that are considered highly important for their wellbeing. The value is learned ‘good’. Rokeach  defined a value as an enduring belief, a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence which is personally or socially preferable. He divided the value system into two parts–one part devoted to instrumental or process oriented value and the other devoted to terminal or goal oriented value. Specific choices or actions are rooted in values what individuals consider beneficial to their wellbeing . Values motivate us to do what is suitable for achievement of our goals. Core values and assumptions are often at the root of organizational systems and structures . It is a type of norm found in various cultures along with other patterns of behavior . Santrock , the values are beliefs and attitudes about the way, things should be. They are motivational factors that determine an Individual’s attitude towards his/her life style while conflict is a part of human life which is inevitable to avoid. Rathour  defined values as the salient features of the behavior.
A person adopts the values that are important to him. Values develop early in life and they are automatically inculcated due to impact of significant people, surrounding environment and experiences. Parents’ value and their beliefs about appropriate childrearing practices contribute to the ways in which they try to shape their children’s development . Thus conflicts related with values are deep rooted. They are the core of our behavior. Parenting is one of the most important medium for cultivating various assumptions regarding what is right and what is wrong. Erikson’s  first psychological stage “Trust verses mistrust” and fifth stage “Identity verses identity confusion play a key role in developing values within an individual. Because of the difference in values, we observe various types of individuals in the society.
Conflict is a serious disagreement and argument about something important. According to Gottesfeld , conflict is a state in which more than one response tendency is aroused simultaneously for expression where satisfaction of one drive is accompanied by frustration of another drive. Myers  defines conflict as a perceived incompatibility of actions and goals that prevents, obstructs, interferes or in some way makes another activity less effective. Conflict is a state of being torn between competing forces . Conflict is a state of disharmony between incompatible ideas or interest influences human behavior and social interactions . Value-conflict is part and parcel of human life and is inevitable to avoid. Whenever people, groups, organizations and nations interact, there are chances that some form of a value conflict would take place .
According to Johansen & Cadmus , “conflict is a common stressor that is encountered as nurses strive to achieve patient satisfaction goals while delivering quality care”. In our day to day life, one has to face a wide variety of conflicts in various social situations. Value-conflict between the individual are found the basic cause of social tensions & unrest and is the basic root for creating differences between the countries.
Early adulthood is the period of transition from adolescence to adulthood. Erikson  suggested that development proceeds through a series of distinct stages each stage defined by a specific crisis. Early adulthood is known for crisis of intimacy verses isolation. Bronfenbrenner’s  ecological systems theory suggests that human development is the product of relationship between individual and their environment – ecology. Arnett  describes that five key factors characterize, such as identity exploration, instability, self-focused feeling in between and the age of possibilities characterized emerging adulthood. Piaget  believes that moral thinking shifts through successive stages from blind acceptances of roles and authority to an understanding of others and needs. Mature adults have better insight due to enrichment by experience, evaluations and reevaluation of their values and thus they develop strong convictions. Kohlberg  believes that moral development coincides with cognitive development. As an individual develops higher levels of cognitive ability, he replace conventional social rules, which have been learnt from parents and other interactions from the environment with his own constructed principles of justice.
A culture is a particular society or civilization especially considered in relation to its beliefs and way of life. Baron  describes different culture, “underground rivers that run through our lives and relationships, giving us massages that shape our lives and relationships, our perceptions, attributions, judgments and ideas of self and others. Schein  defined organizational culture as a set of beliefs, values and assumptions that are shared by members of an organization. These underlying values have an influence on the behavior of organizational members, as people rely on these values to guide their decisions and behaviors. Family of a child is a basic organization of the society. Jonathan and Turner  defined it as a conflict caused by “differences in cultural values and beliefs that place people at odds with one another”.
Germany is Europe’s second most populated country with more than 81 million people. German culture is based on the beliefs and values of its people. The basic key values of Germans are education, manners, punctuality and religion. Getting a good education is very important to German societies. They are stoic people, who strive for perfectionism and precision in all aspects of their lives. They do not admit faults. Workers at all levels are judged on their competence and diligence. The desire for orderliness spills over the business life of Germans, and surprises and humor are not welcomed. Germans are very polite and courteous. A German is proud on their punctuality. They are more comfortable when they can organize their world into controllable units. Therefore time, calendars, schedule and agendas are highly valued. The German sense of “keeping to the schedule” can be seen in each moment of their life. There is a great emphasis on making sure that “the trains run on time”. It seems there is a rule for everything in Germany. The last stem of German culture is religion. The two most practiced religions are Lutheran protestant and Roman Catholics.
India is a vast country with various religions, languages, culture and values. Respect is an extremely valued component of the everyday life of Indian people. Children from a very young age taught to respect their elders. Because of strong feeling of group solidarity, competition within the group is rare . This value often discouraged the competitive spirit emphasized in the dominant society and building a noncompetitive culture. In general most Indian people have low ego level because the emphasis is placed on group harmony. So people in India are not working just for their personal gain, they are working for the group. The value of modesty is another highly emphasized value. Boasting and loud behavior is discouraged and modesty regarding their physical body is also very common. Because of the ability to remain quiet, most Indian have very few nervous mannerism. Feeling of discomfort is frequently marked in silence to avoid embarrassment of self and others. Because of this placid value, Indians are generally slow to demonstrate signs of anger or other strong emotions. This value of placidity is totally contrast in dominant society and because of this conflict in values Indian people are incorrectly viewed as shy, slow or backward. Besides these values, patience and generosity are other highly placed values of Indians. They take care of their parents during their old age. Families are valued highly and are a part of an individual’s life until death.
Hinduism is the most prominent religion in India. Hindu believes in reincarnation, with good Karma, are reborn into a higher caste or even as a God. Bad Karma can result in being reborn into a lower caste or even as an animal. The ultimate goal of a Hindu is to reach “Nirvana”, releasing of the soul from a cycle of reincarnations or rebirth. Cooperation is another highly important value in Indian families. It is necessary for the survival of the family and group. The sense of cooperation is so strong in many communities that democracy means consent by consensus, not by majority rule. Other important Indian values are group harmony, modesty, dignity, placidity, the ability to remain quiet.
Cultural conflict is a type of conflict that occurs when different cultural values and beliefs clash (https:// www.beyondintractability.org/bi-essay/culture-conflict). In present scenario, value conflict in youth is a disturbing trend. In the entire world, values are decreasing day by day. Cultural background seems to be one of the factors responsible for the same and that is why value differences and value conflict need to be studied in the early adult hood.
• To study the values and their associated value conflicts in early adulthood.
• To study the differences with respect to the value-conflict between the students of Germany and India.
There may be a significant difference in the students of Germany and India with respect to the following value conflicts:
1. Evasion vs. Fortitude value.
2. Dependence vs. Self-reliance value.
3. Selfishness vs. Probity value.
4. Hate vs. Love value.
5. Fear vs. Assertion value.
6. Pragmatism vs. Idealism value.
Participants and procedure
A sample consisting of 102 students (boys and girls) ranging between age from 19 to 28 years were selected for the study. Out of 102 students, 42 students were selected from Freiburg, University, Germany, in the year 2015, and 60 students were selected from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Haridwar, Uttarakhand State, India. Stratified random sampling technique was used for the selection of the sample. Test administration was conducted in group setting, three to four sessions, during the working hours. The measures were administered to students with proper instructions. Students took about 40 min to complete the scale. Whenever they had any doubt in the understanding of any question the researcher clarified it.
The scale developed by Bharadwaj  was used for measuring the value conflicts between the students of Germany and India. This scale has 24 items for measurement of six types of value conflicts, such as Evasion vs. Fortitude, Dependence vs. Self-reliance, Selfishness vs. Probity, Hate vs. Love, Fear vs. Assertion and Pragmatism vs. Idealism. The data obtained were statistical analyzed by percentage tables, Mean, Standard Deviation (SD), Standard Error and t-test. The interpretation is made by the sten mean value of the groups.
Evasion vs. fortitude
Evasion refers to one’s tendency of avoidance or not giving the importance that a situation deserves. Fortitude refers to one’s tendency of boldness to face the situation adequately. Table 1 shows that the mean of the raw score of Indian students is M=12.93, (SD=2.46) and the Mean of the raw score of the German students is M=11.42, (SD=2.61).) These results indicate that there is significant difference between the students of India and Germany with regard to Evasion vs. Fortitude value. “t”=2.87, P>0.01. Therefore the null hypothesis is accepted. The sten mean of Indian students is, M=5.55 and German students is M=4.73, indicates that Indian students have existing conflict associated to the Evasion vs. Fortitude value whereas German students fall in the category of Negative dimension Evasion. The percentage Table 2 clearly shows that only 30% of Indian students and 14% of German students have Positive dimension Fortitude.
|N||Raw score Mean||Sten Mean||Standard Deviation||Standard Error||‘t’ value|
Table 1: Evasion vs. fortitude.
|SN.||Students||Negative Dimension||Existing conflict||Positive Dimension||Total Number of Students|
|1||Indian||17 (28%)||25 (42%)||18 (30%)||60|
|2||German||21 (50%)||15 (36%)||06 (14%)||42|
Table 2: Evasion vs. fortitude (percentage).
Dependence vs. self-reliance
Dependence is a tendency to seek the help of another individual or a group in making his decisions or in carrying out difficult tasks in the different walks of life . Self-reliance refers to the tendency of taking decisions by own judgment based on facts and situations in accordance intelligence and creative potentials. Table 3 reveals that the mean of the raw score of Indian students is M=13.46, (SD=2.90) and the raw mean score of German students is M=11.97, (SD=1.90). These results indicate that there is significant difference regarding Dependence vs. Self-reliance value between the students of India and Germany. The ‘t’=2.92 and the sten mean of Indian & German students is 5.47 and 4.75 respectively. It suggests that Indian students have existing conflict associated to the Dependence vs. Self-reliance value with a tendency towards self-reliance, whereas sten mean of German students indicates that they have the tendency towards negative dimension of dependence. Therefore the null Hypothesis is accepted at 0.01 level of confidence. Table 4 shows that 28% of Indian students and only 5% of students of Germany falls in the category of Positive dimension selfreliance.
|N||Raw Score Mean||Sten Mean||Standard Deviation||Standard Error||‘t’ Value|
|Indian Students||60||13.46||5.47||2.9||0.51||2.92 (Significant at 0.01 level of confidence)|
Table 3: Dependence vs. self-reliance.
|1.||Indian||19 (32%)||24 (40%)||17 (28%)||60|
|2.||German||16 (38%)||24 (57%)||02 (5%)||42|
Table 4: Dependence vs. self-reliance (percentage).
Selfishness vs. probity
Selfishness is associated with the expedient mode of behavior where it appears that individual’s need might be best served by actions that are strongly in conflict with pro socio-cultural attitude . Such type of behavior increases the welfare of the individual. Probity is a high standard of correct moral behavior. It refers to unimpaired state of decision making associated with honesty, truthfulness etc. Table 5 reveals the mean of the raw score of Indian students is M=15.01, (SD=2.11), whereas the mean of the raw score of German students is M=13.26, (SD=2.68). The results indicate that there is significant difference regarding selfishness vs. probity value. The ‘t’=3.72, P>0.01. The sten mean of Indian students is 5.28 whereas the sten mean of German students is 4.58. It implies that the Indian students have existing conflict associated to selfishness vs. probity value, whereas German students have a tendency towards negative dimension selfishness. The percentage Table 6 clearly shows that only 8.33% of Indian students and 7.14 % of German students falls in the category of positive dimension Probity. The null hypothesis is accepted at 0.01 level of confidence.
|N||Raw score Mean||Sten Mean||Standard Deviation||Standard Error||‘t’ Value|
|Indian Students||60||15.01||5.28||2.11||0.47||3.72 ( Significant at 0.01 Level of confidence)|
Table 5: Selfishness vs. probity.
|S.N.||Students||Negative Dimension (Selfishness)||Existing Conflict||Positive Dimension (Probity)||Total|
|1||Indian||14 (23.33%)||41 (68.33%)||05 (8.33%)||60|
|2||German||22 (52.38%)||17 (41%)||03 (7.14%)||42|
Table 6: Selfishness vs. probity (percentage).
Hate vs. love
Hate and Love are two extremes of emotions, related to values of human behavior . Hate means an extremely strong feeling of dislike for someone, whereas Love is a very strong feeling of affection towards someone whose happiness is very important to the individual. According to Sternberg and Grajek , triangular theory of love: the three element of love are intimacy, passion and commitment. Table 7 shows the mean of the raw score of Indian students is M=15.75, (SD= 2.18) whereas the mean of the raw score of German students is 15.21, (SD=2.82). The ‘t’=1.09, P<0.05, reveals that there is a lack of significant difference with regards to Hate vs. Love value between the students of India and Germany. The sten mean of Indian and German students is 6.40 and 6.19 respectively, indicates that students of both the countries fall towards the positive value Love. So the null hypothesis is rejected. The percentage Table 8 clearly reveals that 55% of Indian students and 60% of German students falls in the category of positive dimension Love and 42% of Indian students and 31% of German students have found existing conflict associated to the Hate vs. love value.
|N||Raw Score Mean||Sten Mean||Standard Deviation||Standard Error||‘t’ Value|
|Indian Students||60||15.75||6.4||2.18||0.49||1.09 (significant at 0.05 level of confidence)|
Table 7: Hate vs. love.
|Total Number of Students|
|1.||Indian||02 (3.33%)||25 (42%)||33 (55%)||60|
|2.||German||04 (10%)||13 (31%)||25 (60%)||42|
Table 8: Hate vs. love (percentage).
Fear vs. assertion
Fear is an emotion of violent agitation or fright in the presence of danger or discomfort (actual or anticipated) resulting in the feeling to flee away from the danger . Fear makes an individual’s courage, reasoning and other adjustment capacities cripple. Assertion refers to the ability to act courageously, despite of the feeling of fear with complete understanding of facts and findings. Table 9 shows the mean of the raw score of the Indian students is M=13.41, (SD=3.92) and the Mean of the raw score of German students is 12.54, (SD=3.29), ‘t' Value=1.18, and P<0.05. This reveals that there is no significant difference between the Indian and German students regarding Fear vs. Assertion value. The sten mean of Indian students is 5.79 and German students are 5.46, indicates that the students of both the country have existing conflict associated to Fear vs. Assertion value. The percentage Table 10 clearly indicates that 43% of Indian students fall in the category of positive dimension Assertion whereas only 28.57% of German student falls in the category of positive dimension Assertion. Therefore the null hypothesis is rejected.
|N||Raw score Mean||Sten Mean||Standard Deviation||Standard Error||‘t’ Value|
|Indian Students||60||13.41||5.79||3.92||0.73||1.18 Significant at 0.05 level of confidence.|
Table 9: Fear vs. assertion.
|S.N.||Students||Negative Dimension (Fear)||Existing Conflict||Positive Dimension (Assertion)||Total Number of students|
|1||Indian||18 (30%)||16 (27%)||26 (43%)||60|
|2||German||12 (28.57%)||18 (43%)||12 (28.57%)||42|
Table 10: Fear vs. assertion (percentage).
Pragmatism vs. idealism
Pragmatism vs. idealism belief and behavior of someone who tries to base his behavior on ideals. The results of Table 11 shows that the mean of the raw score of Indian students is M=13.78 (SD=2.64) and the mean of the raw score of the German students is 12.78 (SD=2.52). Though there is no significant difference as regard to Pragmatism vs. Idealism value between the students of India and Germany. The sten mean of Indian and German students is 5.94 and 5.73 respectively indicates that the students of both the countries have existing conflict associated to pragmatism vs. idealism value with the tendency towards idealism. The ‘t’=1.93, and P<0.05, reveals that the null hypothesis has been rejected. The percentage Table 12 clearly indicates that only 30% of Indian students and 17% of German students fall in the category of Positive dimension Idealism.
|N||Raw score Mean||Sten Mean||Standard Deviation||Standard Error||‘t’ Value|
|Indian Students||60||13.78||5.94||2.64||0.518||1.93 Significant at 0.05 level of confidence.|
Table 11: Pragmatism vs. idealism.
|S.N.||Students||Negative Dimension (Pragmatism)||Existing Conflict||Positive Dimension (Idealism)||Total Number of students|
|1||Indian||06 (10%)||36 (60%)||18 (30%)||60|
|2||German||07 (17%)||28 (67%)||07 (17%)||42|
Table 12: Pragmatism vs. idealism (percentage).
Values are specific choices and actions that are inculcated during the childhood by parents, teachers and other family members . Ideal education creates a sense of equanimity and promotes an all-round development of a person. In this present study it is discerned that there is an existing conflict regarding the values of Pragmatism vs. Idealism and Fear vs. Assertion values in both the students of India and Germany. To inculcate the Idealistic and Assertive value in the adult students of Germany and India, religious and moral education should be made mandatory in the curriculum. As previous studies show that religion was the main spring of one’s activities in ancient India which included prayer, worship, Philosophy, morality, law and government Mukerji . The aim of such education was the character building, the personality development and the preservation of ancient culture of India. The role of education is to inculcate a greater physical, moral and spiritual strength .
The results regarding the values of Evasion vs. Fortitude, Dependence vs. Self-Reliance and Selfishness vs. Probity value, reveal that there is a significant difference between the students of Germany and India. The basic reason for this is that punctuality plays a very important role in the life of German people. They prefer to follow laws which regulate all aspects of their life. The German’s have more Evasion value because they have to reach in time and time schedule is the main priority. They have no time to solve others problems. Contrary to this, an Indian student will skip his class or he will attend the class little bit late if there is some problem in his neighborhood because time is not a bigger issue than respect and co-operation. Similarly, if there is some accident on the road, an Indian student will prefer to take that person to the hospital. He will not care about his precious time. But a German student will not only give importance to his time schedule but he will prefer to inform to police and not take the law in his hand. Secondly Germany is a developed country and India is a developing country. Bharadwaj and Mithas  have demonstrated that adults of high socio-economic status had greater Evasion value than the adults of low socio-economic status.
Germans are bound by the boundaries of rules and regulations. They are so much dependent on rules, regulations and laws that the value of self-reliance is diminished. Whatever is right according to law, they will follow and prefer. Contrary to this, in India very few people follow the rules and regulations seriously. India is a second largest democratic country, with many religion, culture and more than thirty languages. All religions have their own rules, regulations, likes and dislikes. Therefore, Indian students are not dependent on anything. They have more self-reliance value.
Students of both the countries have positive dimension Love Value (sten Mean=6.40 & 6.19) respectively. Indian students have more probity value than students of Germany. The reason for this may be that respect, co-operation and family are the main important core values of Indian people. Parents sacrifice their life for the sake of their children. Even today in the upper middle class family, parents avoid going for entertainment, even they don’t watch T.V. at home during the examination of their children. They refuse to buy luxurious things because they have to save money for their children’s education & marriages. There is a change in Indian society too. People are adopting western culture day by day but the roots of childhood preaching are so deep that we can see the probity value.
There is an existing conflict found regarding the Fear vs. Assertion and Pragmatism vs. Idealism values in Indian and German students.
The results reveal that there is a significant difference found between the students of Germany and India regarding the values of Evasion vs. Fortitude, dependence vs. self-reliance and Selfishness vs. Probity.
Students of both the countries fall towards the positive dimension Love (sten Mean=6.40 and 6.19) respectively.
Indian students have existing conflict associated to the Dependence vs. Self-reliance value with a tendency towards Self-reliance, whereas students of Germany have a tendency towards Negative dimension Dependence.
The sten mean of Indian students (sten M=5.28) implies that they have existing conflict associated to Selfishness vs. Probity whereas the sten mean of students of Germany (sten M=4.58) indicates that they have tendency towards Negative dimension Selfishness.
Direction For Future Research
Previous studies show that conflict handling styles are beneficial for job performance , leadership effective , joint venture success at firm level, retail networks , innovation and new product performance [32,33], help to reduce work stress . Thomas and Killman  explained five types of conflict resolution styles: (1) The competing style, (2) The avoiding style (3) The compromising style (4) The collaborating style (5) The accommodating style. All five types of conflict resolution styles are useful to resolve the conflict in some situations. Each represents a set of useful social skills. The effectiveness of a conflict handling style depends on the requirements of the specific conflict situation and the skill with which the mode is used. Singer study on religious conversion and brainwashing, the total personality and life style are often pointed in radically new directions through the effect of religious conversions.
Future research is needed to identify the effectiveness of the above conflict resolution styles in the development of the positive values during the emerging adulthood with larger sample. Impact of “Yoga” in resolving the value conflict can also be studied.
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Citation: Srivastava A (2018) Impact of Culture on the Development of Value Conflict in Emerging Adulthood. J Psychol Psychother 8: 336. Doi: 10.4172/2161-0487.1000336
Copyright: ©2018 Srivastava A. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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