H. Kakounda-Muallem, Moshe Israelashvili*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Self-concept clarity is associated with mental health and positive adaptation while lack of self-concept clarity leads to compensatory efforts designed to regain certainty and to gain feelings of meaningfulness. A central aspect of the consolidation of self-concept clarity lies in the cultural environment in which people exist since the norms and beliefs of a specific culture entail unique demands, developmental pressures, and daily stressors. These notions have much relevance for better understanding the behavior of adolescents and emerging adults, as these developmental periods are characterized by intensive efforts to gain and establish clear self-concept and self-identity. This chapter discusses the importance of selfconcept clarity and presents the results of a comparative study relating to self-concept clarity and cultural identity of Israeli adolescents and emerging adults. The study was conducted among (Total = 730) adolescents (aged 15-18) and emerging adults (21-25), including Jewish, Muslim, and Christian groups living in the State of Israel. Comparisons between the groups were made on the basis of: 1) measure of individual exposure to other cultures; 2) culture of origin of parents, and its impact on adolescent changes - a transition from a collective culture (traditional Arab) to individualism (modern Israeli); 3) age of individual - comparing adolescents (aged 15-18) to emerging adults (aged 21-25); 4) and gender. The study findings indicate significant differences between the various groups, with adolescents adopting either marginalized or individualist identities more than emerging adults. In addition, a triple interaction (Age X Religion X Parental Culture) differences), in which Christian Arab adolescents (aged 15-18) displayed the highest level of marginalized identity and cultural confusion. Thus, the study findings expand the scope of Berry’s model (Berry, 1997), showing that the possibility of adopting marginalized identity is not limited to immigrants alone. Rather, members of various cultures, as well as various organizations, may display cultural confusion that leads them to take on a marginalized identity. The problem of defining cultural clarity among both adolescents and adults in their early twenties is exacerbated, calling for institutionalized (e.g., school) proactive interventions to support young people in articulating their personal and cultural self-concept clarity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrganizational Science
Subtitle of host publicationA Global Perspective
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781685070403
ISBN (Print)9781536194937
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Christian
  • Israel
  • Jew
  • Muslim
  • collectivism-individualism
  • cultural differences
  • developmental tasks
  • self-concept
  • self-concept clarity
  • youth


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