Psychological theories and research often assume nations are culturally homogeneous and stable. But global demographic, political, and economic changes and massive immigration have sparked new scholarly and policy interest in cultural diversity and change within nations. This chapter reviews interdisciplinary advances linking culture and psychological development. These challenge and strengthen the external and ecological validity of psychological theories and their applications. Seven theoretical perspectives are reviewed: individualism-collectivism; ecological systems; cultural-ecological; social identity; ecocultural and sociocultural; structure-agency; and multiple worlds. Reviews of each theory summarize key constructs and evidence, recent advances, links between universal and community-specific research and applications, and strengths and limitations. The chapter traces complementarities across theories for the case of personal and social identity. It concludes by discussing implications for science and policy. By viewing theories as distinct yet complementary, researchers and policy makers can forge interdisciplinary, international, and intergenerational collaborations on behalf of the culturally diverse communities of which we are a part.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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