Child Indicators Research

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 589–611 | Cite as

The Relationship between Adolescents’ Social Capital and Individualism-Collectivism in Estonia, Germany, and Russia

  • Mai BeilmannEmail author
  • Boris Mayer
  • Kairi Kasearu
  • Anu Realo


The present study examines the relationship between adolescents’ social capital and individualism-collectivism using data from the Value of Children Study (Trommsdorff and Nauck 2005) from Estonia (N = 228), Germany (N = 278), and Russia (N = 280). Two social capital indexes for adolescents (measuring parental social capital and peer-group social capital) were developed for the analysis. The COLINDEX Scale (Chan 1994) was used to measure individualistic and collectivistic values. In all three countries collectivistic values predicted parental social capital whereas individualistic values predicted peer-group social capital. There were also a few country-specific relationships between the constructs, with collectivism and peer-group social capital being positively related in Estonia and individualism and parental social capital significantly negatively correlated in Russia. The current analysis suggests that during the adolescence, collectivistic values are more likely to be related to higher levels of parental social capital and individualistic values to higher levels of peer-group social capital. Therefore, it seems that at the individual level and for adolescents the individualism and collectivism are related to different forms of social capital in the different manner.


Adolescents Individualism Collectivism Social capital 



The writing of this article was supported by a grant from the Estonian Ministry of Science and Education (IUT02-13).

We would like to thank Gisela Trommsdorff for her helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article, and Zara Saraliewa for letting us use the VOC data from Russia for our analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mai Beilmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Boris Mayer
    • 2
  • Kairi Kasearu
    • 1
  • Anu Realo
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia

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