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Adolescent Self-Esteem in Cross-Cultural Perspective


Theorists and researchers have raised the question of whether self-esteem has similar meanings and correlates in individualistic and collectivist cultures. This study examined the cross-cultural equivalence of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale in four countries and compared its association with parental warmth and acceptance and depressed mood. Participants were 11th graders in the United States (n = 422), the Czech Republic (n = 490), China (n = 502), and Korea (n = 497). Cross-cultural similarities in the factor structure of the self-esteem scale and in the relations of self-esteem to other variables were more striking than cross-cultural differences. Across cultures, parental warmth was significantly related to both positive and negative self-image, each of which in turn was related significantly to depressive symptomatology. There was little evidence for the hypothesis that self-esteem would more strongly mediate the relation between parental warmth and adolescent depressive symptoms in the more individualistic (as opposed to collectivist) cultures.

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