references, discussing negative emotions, engaging children in conversations, discovering unique attributes, and the like all have Western upbringing tones. In other cultures, these norms may not be norms at all and hence the psychometric procedures used to generate traditionally Western self-description may not apply, say among Chinese or Asian children (Wang, 2004). The Chinese, as opposed to the autonomy-oriented European-Americans, are interdependent and put value in kinship such that a person's identity is often tied to his social responsibilities. Social rules exist in the Chinese culture that promotes humility and self-criticism for the sake of social harmony (Chin, 1988, in Wang, 2004). This, of course, is in contrast to Western culture that promotes self-enhancement.
A recent study on the comparative autobiographical memories and self-description in 3- to 8-year-old American and Chinese children considered the following differences and used a relatively novel, open-ended narrative method to examine the development of self-constructs. The results of the study are consistent with the cultural outlines above. American children tend to describe themselves in terms of their personal attributes and inner disposition in a generally light tone. Chinese children, on the other hand, focused on specific relationships, social roles, observable behavior, and situation bound features in a modest tone (Wang, 2004). The implication of this study is that self-concept is culture-specific and that the early emergence of cultural self-constructs may prepare children to become competent members of their respective societies (Wang, 2004).
In summary, this paper illustrates that the development of self is a product of cognitive achievement, everyday experiences, and cultural values. The role of child-parent interactions and differing cultural beliefs are emphasized as crucial in shaping self-concept among children.