Identity resources for positive adaptation of Roma ethnic minority youth in Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Kosovo, and Romania

Document Type



Institute for Human Development


Abstract:This chapter applies a strengths-based, positive youth development (PYD) perspective of adolescence by investigating ethnic and national identity resources underlying positive adaptation in Roma minority youth in Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Kosovo, Italy and Romania. In all countries, Roma are traditionally marginalized and high risk group for compromised well-being. Participants were 513 Roma minority adolescents (age: M = 15.21 years, SD = 1.59) who filled in self-reports on Roma ethnic and national identity and self-esteem. Results of separate within group comparisons indicated that Roma in the Czech Republic, Kosovo and Italy showed higher endorsement of Roma ethnic than national identity, whereas national identity was stronger for youth in Romania and Albania. We also found positive effects of Roma identity on self-esteem for youth in the Czech Republic, whereas national identity was positively associated with self-esteem for Roma in Albania, Bulgaria and Romania. We suggest that the salience of ethnic and national identities for Roma is moderated by contextual conditions of countries hosting Roma and that these conditions are important factors in promoting their optimal adaptation


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Positive youth development in global contexts of social and economic change