Association among cultural orientation, Nunchi, and interpersonal relationships with Korean adolescent athletes

Seung-Yup Baek, Kanghun Lee


Cultural aspects and their relationships with social supporters are important to adolescent athletes. Other skills in communication or perception (e.g. Nunchi) might be helpful in getting along with the supporters. The purpose of this study was to identify the association between cultural orientation, Nunchi, and interpersonal relationships with adolescent athletes. With this aim, we surveyed 462 Korean adolescent athletes. Measurement tools comprised questionnaires on cultural orientation, Nunchi, and interpersonal relationships—including coach–athlete, sports friendships, and parent–adolescent—designed to match the research purpose. We analyzed the data using structural equation modeling. Our results are as follows: first, we verified that collectivism is positively related to Nunchi, and Nunchi is positively associated with interpersonal relationships. But we did not verify that individualism is related to Nunchi. Second, in our final model, excluding individualism, Nunchi showed a mediation effect on the association between collectivism and interpersonal relationships. In conclusion, Korean athletes with high collectivism will be positively related to interpersonal relationships through Nunchi. Additionally, we discussed the issues of culture in sport and exercise psychology.


Collectivism; Individualism; Sport; Coaches; Parents

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