Factors Underlying Contextual Variations in the Structure of the Self: Differences Related to SES, Gender, Culture, and “Majority/Nonmajority” Status During Early Adolescence


  • Work on this paper was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

Requests for reprints should be sent to William M. Bukowski, Department of Psychology, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H4B 1R6. E-mail: William.Bukowski@Concordia.ca


Multilevel modeling was used to examine contextual variations in the structure of the “self” in a sample of 918 lower- and upper-middle class early adolescents (M age = 10.37 years, SD = 1.19) from a “majority” cultural context (i.e., Barranquilla in the Caribbean region of Colombia) and a “nonmajority” context (i.e., Montréal, Québec, Canada). It was expected that the associations between measures of the self-concept (i.e., indices of self-perceived competence) and a measure of general self-worth would differ in majority and nonmajority contexts and would vary as a function of socioeconomic status, the relative emphasis placed on individualism and collectivism and gender. Findings indicate that contextual factors moderated the extent to which self-worth is associated with components of early adolescents' self-concept.