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Does relational mobility vary across national regions? A within-country examination

Relational mobility is a socio-ecological construct quantifying how much freedom and opportunity a society affords individuals to choose and dispose of interpersonal relationships. Past research has confirmed that relational mobility varies across nations, but no large-scale study has examined the degree to which relational mobility may vary within a single nation. We report two studies (Study 1, N = 647; Study 2, N = 7343) exploring within-country similarity or variability in relational mobility across all 27 states and five geo-socio-political regions in the continent-size country of Brazil. Results confirmed the measurement equivalence of the Relational Mobility Scale across respondents from all Brazilian states. Notably, relational mobility scores were uniform across Brazilian regions and states, indicating a common national culture regarding the amount of opportunities Brazilians have in selecting new relationship partners within their social context. Replicating existing findings, relational mobility was positively associated with pro-active tendencies that help people retain relationships—levels of intimacy and self-disclosure toward a close friend—indicating that friends tend to feel closer intimacy to their close friends, and reveal serious personal information to a larger degree in social contexts where opportunities to find and retain relationships with like-minded others are greater.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Milfont, T. L., Thomson, R., & Yuki, M. (2020). Does relational mobility vary across national regions? A within-country examination. PLoS ONE, 15(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0235172
Public Library Science
© 2020 Milfont et al. 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.