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Self-expression values of youth as an indicator of changes in Ukraine (based on the refined Shalom Schwartz basic human values scale)

Self-expression values of youth as an indicator of changes in Ukraine (based on the refined Shalom Schwartz basic human values scale)


Kateryna Nagorniak, Department of Sociology, National University "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy" (Kyiv, Ukraine),

ISSN: 1335-3608


The article presents the results of the pilot study of the refined method of basic human values proposed by Shalom Schwartz (translated and adapted into Ukrainian). The methodology has greater possibilities for detailing and evaluation of human values compared to the previous version of the scale. In the modern version of the model, 19 basic values are allocated and placed on the motivational circle organized by the following principle: the neighboring values are the most compatible, the opposite ones - conflict with each other. The English version of the technique was translated into Ukrainian and tested on two pilot studies.

The abridged version of six values (18 statements) was tested during the sociological study  "Youth of Ukraine-2017" which was conducted by Centre of Independent Sociological Research "Omega" for the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine. The survey was initiated within the framework  of the State Target Social Program "Youth of Ukraine" for 2016-2020,  approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The survey  was conducted between July 20th and August 10th, 2017.

The research method  was a structured interview (face-to-face) conducted by a questionnaire survey  among young people aged 14 to 34 (Ukrainian citizens). Respondents were  interviewed at the place of their residence. The selection of respondents was  carried out by the route method. The research sample was 2,000 respondents aged  14-34, representative of the main socio-demographic characteristics (sex, age,  area of residence, size of settlement); standard deviations at a reliable 99  percent and the ratio of variables from 0.1 to 0.5 are 1.73-2.88 percent.

The geography of the  study included 24 administrative units of Ukraine and the city of Kiev (except  for the occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol,  and the temporarily uncontrolled territory of Ukraine, where the state authorities  temporarily do not exercise their powers both partially and in full). 

The obtained results allowed to verify the conceptual and empirical validity of each statement, which are indicators of measurable values. Indicators of quality of the model allow concluding about the best explanatory model of human values measured by Sh. Schwartz. The best quality indicators were obtained during the modification of the model using the ESEM and RI-EFA methods.

The framework of the study was the possibility of constructing a self-expression value indicator, which would characterize Ukrainian youth in connection with its participation in the political and public life of the country, readiness to create its own business, youth mobility, and attitude to migration.

The created indicator distinguishes the sample and allows to characterize young people aged 14 – 34. According to the results, young people with self-expression values declare their willingness to participate in the political life of the country, to hold elected positions, to initiate participation in youth organizations, to create their own business, as well as show readiness for migration with further return after gained experience abroad.

The indicator has a significant statistical connection with the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents. The level of inherency and non-inherency of self-expression values differs by age: with age, the proportion of those for whom the value of self-expression is inherent decreases. By regionality, the value of self-expression is more common for young people from the Northern and Southern regions. However, the least inherent values were for young people from the Western and Central regions. The following distribution may indicate that value is less common in regions where there are other values. For instance, in priority there are "Conservation" values (e.g., "Tradition", "Societal and Personal security", "Conformity" etc.) or "Self-Transcendence" (e.g. "Benevolence", "Universalism" etc.).

Also, the integral indicator makes it possible to distinguish young people by their material situation; more often, the value of self-expression is inherent for more the prosperous category of young people, who evaluate their financial position as "live well, but cannot make some purchases (buy an apartment, car, etc.) yet". The less important value is for the group of young people who evaluate their own financial situation as low: "money is not enough even for buying the necessary products", "enough for food and inexpensive things".

The integral value of "self-expression value" has a meaningful relationship with indicators that measure the attitude of young people to political processes in the country, their participation in public life. More often the proportion of young people for whom the value of self-expression is inherent indicate that they are following political life and the main events in Ukraine. With age, the interest in the political life of the country increases among youth with self-expression values. Consequently, young people compared to elderly are more often monitored for political life and main events in the country (those aged 24 – 28 and 29 – 34).

Young people mentioned their willingness to hold elective positions. More often such a desire is observed among those who have the value of self-expression. For example, the position of people's deputies of Ukraine is more attractive to those who possess the values of self-expression. The same distribution is observed among those, who are ready to occupy elective seats in councils at different administrative levels (regional or local). Among those, who have inherent value, males more often than females say more about their desire to take such positions.

The value of self-expression also has a significant relationship with regards being an entrepreneur or a desire to open one’s own business. There is a direct significant connection between an inherent value and desire to become an entrepreneur. Males compared to females and young people aged 14 – 18 and 24-28 are more likely to be ready to open their own businesses (in the short and long-term future).

Research showed that the willingness to leave the locality more often comes from those who have the inherent value of self-expression. Especially, the younger age group of 14 – 18 are more likely to leave their area. Emigrating, but with a view to return to the country, are more likely to be respondents with self-expression value. The real reason for their willingness to emigrate is the desire to emigrate because there is no real democracy and legality in Ukraine and due to military actions in the East of Ukraine.

Based on the results of the received data, recommendations for further adaptation and improvement of the Ukrainian version of the PVQ-57 methodology were formulated in order to have the possibility of using the self-expression value indicator in relation to other variables that will determine the activity of young people and their readiness for change.

Bibliografické informácie (sk)

NAGORNIAK, Kateryna. Self-expression  values of youth as an indicator of changes in Ukraine (based on the refined  Shalom Schwartz basic human values scale). Človek a spoločnosť, 2018, roč. 21,  č. 1, s. 29-46.

Bibliographic information

NAGORNIAK, Kateryna. Self-expression  values of youth as an indicator of changes in Ukraine (based on the refined  Shalom Schwartz basic human values scale). Individual and Society, 2018, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 29-46.

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