The author argues that American Jewish distinctiveness with respect to the family manifests itself in a valuing of family and stability and nurturance. The technique suggested for assessing this distinctiveness is to analyze the social-psychological consequences of this valuing for self-esteem. On the basis of an analysis of a NIMH sample of Chicago residents, we find that the self-esteem of Jews, when compared with Protestants and Catholics, is more greatly affected by a variety of marital relationship variables. The investigation of this valuing, which occurs despite bonds, can lead to further advances in family theory. The relationship between self-esteem and marital relations also suggests a mechanism by which a group values are actualized in individual behavior.