Assessment of self-esteem for Chinese children: Issues on suitability of western measures

Man Tak LEUNG, Ching David KWOK

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The importance of the self-esteem construct has been well regarded in various aspects in psychology and education such as psychological adjustment, social and emotional development, and its close association with children’s academic achievement. As such, self-esteem researchers have continued to design different methodologies and instrumentation with an attempt to adequately assess this important construct for the healthy development of children. However, studies conducted in non-western cultural context have inevitably adapted measures which, in fact, were developed under the umbrella of a western cultural framework. This approach has been widely debated and scrutinized by many concerned social scientists. The objective of the present paper is to synthesize the literature on measures of self-esteem for Chinese children and discuss critically the issues on adapting and transporting western measures of self-esteem into the Chinese cultural context. Through conceptualising the role of cultural differentiation of the western individualistic model of the self vs. the eastern (Chinese) collectivistic model of the self, a framework for developing future methods for measuring the self-esteem construct suitable in the Chinese cultural context will be proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2002



Leung, M.-T., & Kwok, D.-C. (2002, August). Assessment of self-esteem for Chinese children: Issues on suitability of western measures. Paper presented at the 2nd International Biennial SELF Research Conference: Self-concept Research: Driving International Research Agendas, Sydney, New South Wales.


  • Development of Disciplinary Knowledge (e.g. Sociology, Psychology)