Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 231–244 | Cite as

National Identity of High-School Adolescents in an Era of Socio-Economic Change: Russia and Ukraine in the Post-Perestroika Period

  • Eugene Tartakovsky
Empirical Research


This study focuses on the national identity of high-school adolescents in Russia and Ukraine in the post-perestroika period. Adolescents studying in public high schools in 12 medium-size and large cities completed questionnaires in 1999 (n = 468) and 2007 (n = 646). Russian adolescents consistently reported a more positive attitude towards their country and a stronger identification with the nation than did Ukrainian adolescents. The effect of socio-economic changes on the two components of national identity differed: the adolescents reported a more positive attitude towards their country in 2007 than in 1999, while their identification with the nations did not change significantly. Social support received from peers was associated with a more positive attitude towards the country and a stronger identification with the nation, while social support received from parents and teachers was not related to the national identity of adolescents. Adolescents’ better psychological adjustment was associated with a more positive attitude towards the country but was not related to their identification with the nation. Adolescents who belonged to the ethnic majority reported a more positive attitude towards the country and a stronger identification with the nation as compared to adolescents who belonged to ethnic minorities.


High-school adolescents Attitude towards the country Identification with the nation Socio-economic conditions Social support received from parents, peers, and teachers Psychological adjustment Russia Ukraine 



The author is profoundly thankful to the Russian and Ukrainian psychologists who helped to conduct this study. The author is also grateful to the adolescents who participated in this study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Bob Shapell School of Social WorkTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael

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