In Search of “the Bedouin Adaptive Adult”: Socialization Goals of Mothers and Fathers From the Bedouin Society of the Negev

Noga Mosco, Naama Atzaba-Poria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Bedouins of the Negev are a unique minority group living in southern Israel. They are known to be a formerly nomadic society characterized by tribal collectivism. The purpose of this study was to improve the understanding of the broad context in which parenting and child development take place in Bedouin society by exploring the images Bedouin parents have of the adults they wish their children to become (the adaptive adult). We explored the images of the adaptive adult as expressed by parents’ ratings of individualistic and collectivistic socialization goals (SGs), while also examining the eco-cultural factors that may be related to these images. Specifically, we examined the relations between SG preferences and parental acculturation attitude, parental education, and child gender. Participants included 65 Bedouin mothers and 30 Bedouin fathers. Parents completed the Acculturation Questionnaire and the Socialization Goals Rating Task. Results indicated that mothers who had higher education and those who had higher levels of contact and participation in Israeli Jewish culture preferred more individualistic SGs over collectivistic SGs for their children. Furthermore, acculturation level was a stronger predictor of maternal SGs than level of education. Contrary to mothers, fathers’ SG preferences were found to be related only to their level of education and not to their acculturation levels. Finally, both mothers and fathers preferred individualistic SGs for their sons and collectivistic SGs for their daughters. The links between SG preferences and the factors of parental acculturation, parental education, and child gender are discussed, and implications are proposed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)54-71
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Bedouin
  • acculturation
  • individualism and collectivism
  • parenting
  • socialization goals
  • values

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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