This research examined how children's inclusion of social personal attributes (e.g., talkative and argumentative) in their views of themselves changes over early adolescence in the United States and China. In 2 studies (N = 825 in Study 1 and 394 in Study 2) using open-ended methods (e.g., completion of "I ." stems), American and Chinese children described themselves multiple times during the 7th and 8th grades. Conceptions of the self in terms of personal attributes were the norm in both the United States and China, but personal attributes that are social became more common over early adolescence in only the United States. Study 1 indicated that increases in social personal attributes were accompanied by heightened psychological and positive descriptions of the self in both countries. Study 2 ruled out potential confounds (e.g., pubertal status) in the differences in American and Chinese children's use of social personal attributes to define themselves.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies