Developmental Psychology: Self-Esteem and Cultural Values

Words: 672
Topic: Psychology


Based on the article by CNRS, the paper analyzes the findings of the worldwide survey exploring the relationship between self-esteem and the fulfillment of the values dominating the cultural environment. The ideas for future research and the use of the findings in practice are also included in the paper. Besides, the article written by Bronfenbrenner is analyzed. His main ideas and contributions to the field of developmental psychology are explored.

Current Events

A survey involving more than 5,000 young people in 19 countries has revealed that the traditional views on the nature of self-esteem are not well-grounded. The study’s findings have shown that the fulfillment of values that are based on individual opinions has very little influence on the self-esteem of people across the globe.

According to the findings of the survey, the fulfillment of the values considered important by other individuals in the cultural environment is the key factor determining the level of the self-esteem of the person (CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange), 2014). Therefore, the survey reveals that self-esteem depends on the ability to meet the expectations of other people rather than on the ability to comply with personal priorities.

As the results of the survey, including young people, have helped to make a ground-breaking discovery about the nature of self-esteem, the follow-up study, including older individuals, would be appropriate. Such a study would reveal if the discoveries of the discussed survey vary in other age groups and help to make more comprehensive conclusions.

The knowledge gained from the study can be used to inform parents and educators on how to approach the issues related to the self-esteem of teenagers. For example, the parents and educators need to pay much attention to those teenagers that do not conform to the values prevailing in their environment, as these adolescents are likely to face problems with self-esteem.

The adults need to keep an eye on such teenagers in order to prevent possible negative consequences of low self-esteem, as it can lead to problems in social interaction resulting in serious psychological disorders (e.g., depression or suicidal behavior). Such advice is especially important for the parents of children that move to other countries and face the need to adjust to the new culture. The educators working with groups of children coming from various cultural backgrounds need to pay special attention to the discussed issue.

Original Works

In his article “Towards an Experimental Ecology of Human Development,” Urie Bronfenbrenner makes numerous propositions aimed at developing the effective framework of ecological experiments. According to Bronfenbrenner’s theory, the process of human development is largely influenced by the interaction between the person and his/her environment.

In order to make the studies revealing the nature and consequences of such interaction objectives, Bronfenbrenner developed a series of suggestions on how to ensure the relevancy and effectiveness of ecological experiments exploring the specifics of human development. Each of the improvements suggested by Bronfenbrenner is supported by the evidence from real studies.

Prior to presenting his propositions, Bronfenbrenner (1977) defines a number of terms that are important for understanding his theory, including the ecology of human development, the ecological environment, ecological validity, and ecological experiment (pp. 513-518).

The propositions made by the scientist include the requirements of reciprocity, “recognizing the totality of the functional social system in the setting,” and analyzing interactions between settings (Bronfenbrenner, 1977, p. 519-523). Besides, the author proposes the usage of a life-span perspective, going beyond the immediate setting, and the usage of transforming experiments (Bronfenbrenner, 1977, pp. 526-528).

The discussed propositions illustrate the innovative approach to developmental psychology that was used by Bronfenbrenner and enabled him to make a huge contribution to this field. He managed to reveal the impact of environmental variables on human development and show that the child’s development depends on numerous societal factors.

Bronfenbrenner has contributed to making the development psychology more objective and has encouraged many researchers to use his theory in practice and in such way, broaden the knowledge about the factors influencing different aspects of the development of a person.


Bronfenbrenner, U. (1977). Toward an experimental ecology of human development. American Psychologist, 32(7), 513-531. Web.

CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). (2014). Culture influences young people’s self-esteem: Fulfillment of value priorities of other individuals important to youth. Science Daily. Web.