A cross-cultural validation of adolescent self-concept in two cultures: Japan and Sweden

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Saori Nishikawa
Torsten Norlander
Per Fransson
Elisabet Sundbom
Cite this article:  Nishikawa, S., Norlander, T., Fransson, P., & Sundbom, E. (2007). A cross-cultural validation of adolescent self-concept in two cultures: Japan and Sweden. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 35(2), 269-286.

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The psychometric properties of the SDQII (Self-Description Questionnaire II; Marsh, 1992) were examined, and the extent to which Japanese and Swedish adolescents differ in their self-concepts and actual-ideal discrepancies was investigated. Further gender differences were explored. The SDQII and Actual-Ideal Questionnaires (designed for this study) were administered to 144 Japanese and 96 Swedish adolescents (range = 14 to 15 years). The main results show that the psychometric properties of the SDQII were satisfactory in both cultures, making these instruments useful in further investigations. Japanese adolescents generally reported a lower self-concept (with the exception of physical and math self-concepts) and higher self-discrepancies than did the Swedish adolescents. In addition, the gender differences were smaller compared to the influence of the cultural effect.

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Appreciation is due to reviewers including

Barbara Byrne


School of Psychology

University of Ottawa



Canada K1N 6N5


[email protected]

Mehdi Ghazinour

Department of Social Welfare



901 87


[email protected]">[email protected]

Kumi Hirokawa

Department of Hygiene and Preventative Medicine

Okayama University Medical School

2-5-1 Shikata-cho

Okayama 700-8558


[email protected]">[email protected]

Professor Dr. Ulrich Kuhnen

International University of Bremen

P.O. Box 750 561

28725 Bremen


[email protected]

Saori Nishikawa, Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, Umeå University, 901 87, Umeå, Sweden. Phone: +46 90 785 6317; Fax: +46 90 13 53 24; Email: [email protected]

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