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Working paper

How Robust is the Association of Life Satisfaction with Value Congruence? A Study of Constructed Socio-Demographic Groups in a Russian National Sample

Khaptsova A. A., Schwartz S.
Congruence between own values and those of one’s reference groups has been found to promote life satisfaction. Actual or anticipated support or sanctions from reference others presumably explains this effect. Does the effect extend to congruence with the values of others who are similar only in socio-demographic characteristics with whom one does not interact? We constructed 36 socio-demographic groups by crossing age, gender, religion, education level, and region of residence in a representative Russian national sample (N=961). We derived value congruence scores by correlating individuals’ values with the mean values of their constructed group. Value congruence and life satisfaction correlated significantly across individuals even in these groups. The less important self-direction values to individuals, the stronger the correlation. A meta-analysis of the correlations in the 36 groups also confirmed the positive association of value congruence with life satisfaction. The characteristics used to construct the groups did not moderate this association.