The Influence of Identity Styles on Adolescents’ Psychological Problems in Postcommunist Albania

  • Skerdi Zahaj
  • Radosveta Dimitrova
Part of the Societies and Political Orders in Transition book series (SOCPOT)


This chapter examines relationships between identity development and “core” psychological problems among young people in postcommunist Albania. Albania is a new democratic state since 1991 after the collapse of the communist regime, where identity is a now major issue. Based on social-cognitive models, identity is conceptualized as a self-theory constructed during adolescence within a social context [Berzonsky, A social-cognitive perspective on identity construction. In: Schwartz et al. (eds.) Handbook of identity theory and research. Springer, New York (2011)]. In this chapter, identity styles are considered identity-processing orientations of adolescents, while “core” psychological problems are considered lack of well-being, clinical symptoms, lack of functioning, and risk to harm self and others. Participants were 840 adolescents aged 15–23 years old who completed the Revised Identity Style Inventory (ISI-5; Berzonsky, 2013) and the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure [CORE-OM, Bodinaku, Translation, validation and standardization of the Albanian version of the SCL-90-R (Symptom Checklist-90-Revised) and CORE-OM (Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluations – Outcome Measure), Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Sigmund Freud Private University, Vienna (2014)]. Path models confirm that identity-processing styles were predictors of adolescents’ core psychological problems. The informative identity style was negatively associated with adolescent’s symptoms such as anxiety and depression, whereas normative and diffuse-avoidant identity styles were positively associated with lack of subjective well-being, symptoms, and risk to harm self and others. These findings are explained in the specific context of youths in postcommunist Albania.


Identity Identity development Psychological health Albanian adolescents 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TiranaTiranaAlbania
  2. 2.Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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