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Choosing a Romantic Partner Among Tajik and Russian Youth: the Role of Social Identities and Cultural Norms

Student: Shade Dekhkanova

Supervisor: Victoria Nikolaevna Galyapina

Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences

Educational Programme: Psychology (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2020

This study is devoted to identifying personal and cultural-psychological predictors of romantic relationships among Tajik and Russian youth. The sample included 186 Tajik and 170 Russian respondents. The results were obtained using a mix-method: (semi-structured interview and socio-psychological survey). Data showed that the factors determining the choice of a romantic partner differ in Russian and Tajik youth. It was also found that among Tajik youth, the more" loose " cultural norms are, the closer their relationships with romantic partners are. We also found that Russian youth have "strict" cultural norms that are mainly related to personal characteristics that reflect spiritual qualities and socio-psychological characteristics. Among Tajik youth, the "rigidity" of cultural norms is interlinked with the social and status characteristics of a romantic partner. Moderation analysis showed that ethnic and religious identities reduce the significance of characteristics related to the appearance of the partner and their personal characteristics, reflecting individualism and practicality, and increase the significance of spiritual qualities and social status characteristics of the partner for the closeness of romantic relationships. The results add to the gaps in the results of existing research and provide the first insight into the specifics of partner selection in both Tajik and Russian cultures

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