Simultaneous administration of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale in 53 nations: exploring the universal and culture-specific features of global self-esteem

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2005 Oct;89(4):623-42. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.89.4.623.


The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) was translated into 28 languages and administered to 16,998 participants across 53 nations. The RSES factor structure was largely invariant across nations. RSES scores correlated with neuroticism, extraversion, and romantic attachment styles within nearly all nations, providing additional support for cross-cultural equivalence of the RSES. All nations scored above the theoretical midpoint of the RSES, indicating generally positive self-evaluation may be culturally universal. Individual differences in self-esteem were variable across cultures, with a neutral response bias prevalent in more collectivist cultures. Self-competence and self-liking subscales of the RSES varied with cultural individualism. Although positively and negatively worded items of the RSES were correlated within cultures and were uniformly related to external personality variables, differences between aggregates of positive and negative items were smaller in developed nations. Because negatively worded items were interpreted differently across nations, direct cross-cultural comparisons using the RSES may have limited value.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude / ethnology*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Culture*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Love
  • Male
  • Object Attachment
  • Personality
  • Self Concept*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*