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Psychological characteristics of ethnical identity of adolescents

Author: Lucia Gaşper
Degree:doctor of psychology
Speciality: 19.00.07 - Pedagogical Psychology, Psychology of Development, Psychology of Personality
Scientific adviser: Irina Caunenco
doctor, associate professor (docent), Medical Research Centre and Socio-Demografic of Family of the ASM
Institution: Chisinau Pedagogical State University "Ion Creanga"


The thesis was presented on the 14 March, 2008
Approved by NCAA on the 19 June, 2008


Adobe PDF document0.36 Mb / in romanian


ethnic identity, ethnic self-consciousness, ethnic tolerance, ethnic intolerance, ethnic preferences, ethnic relations, auto-stereotype, hetero-stereotype, di-ethnical identity, problems of national identity, majority, ethnic minority, social distance, marginalization.


The paper describes formation of ethnical identity of adolescents. The research covers the following ethnical groups: Moldavians (Romanians), Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Gagauses.

The study was focused on the structure of ethnical identity, its relation to ethnical contact environment and belonging to the «majority» or «minority» group.

The hypothesis that the ethnical identity of adolescents is determined by their belonging to a group was confirmed. Among the adolescents of the titular ethnic group there was identified the distinct identity with their ethnic group, which was revealed during the comparison of auto-and hetero- stereotypes; the hierarchy of ethnic preferences; the social distance with regard to interaction; the prevalence of tendencies towards affiliation.

The Russian adolescents, as well as representatives of the titular ethnic group, have only demonstrated identification with their ethnic groups. Among the Ukrainian, Bulgarian and Gagause adolescents there were found out three levels of bi-ethnicity with the group of Russians.

The high level – was demonstrated by Bulgarians, including affinity both on the individual and group levels, with priority of the out-group. The average level- was demonstrated by the Ukrainians, with the own group priority on the individual level, but on the group level – the affinity with the out-group. The low level – was demonstrated by the Gagauses, that is, activation of closeness with the out-group on the individual level.

Among the Gagause adolescents and youth there was revealed the prevalence of tendencies towards affiliation. It can be forecasted further growth of their ethnic self-consciousness, because today they experience national revival, due to establishment of the Gagaus Autonomous Territorial Entity (Gagaus Eri).

In the framework of the research there was identified the potential of interethnic relations among the analyzed groups: all ethnic groups have demonstrated positive auto-stereotype, close social distance, which is explained by the historical long term peaceful coexistence. At the same time, several problems were identified as well, such as a certain dissociation of ethnic minorities, the lowered level of communicative field, high level of the «vacillating» group with regard to perception of social situation.

In the paper there was conducted theoretical analysis of the problem of ethnical tolerance and were outlined the ways of its formation. There was analyzed the experience of practical work in the area of tolerance formation in the different regions of the Republic of Moldova. There was suggested the model of a program aimed at formation of interethnic tolerance and intercultural competence.