Identity and future concerns among adolescents from Italy, Turkey and Germany: intra- and between-cultural comparisons
The present study investigated stress perception and coping styles in 3259 Turkish, Italian, and German adolescents with a mean age of 14.97 years (SD = 1.74). The adolescents filled in self-report measures assessing stress perception and coping styles in two problem domains: future and identity. In order to allow for analyses of intra-country and inter-country variation, two subsamples were assessed per country. Results revealed that adolescents from all countries experienced future concerns as most stressful. Identity-related stressors showed a greater inter-country variation. However, intra-country variation in stress perception was much lower than variation in stress perception between the countries. It is noteworthy that the coping behavior was strikingly similar among Turkish, Italian, and German adolescents. Whereas active coping styles dominated in dealing with future-related stressors, relatively high withdrawal rates occurred in all three countries when identity problems have to be dealt with. Compared to the strong influence of country, rather weak gender differences in stress perception were found; with females experiencing a higher stress level than males in both stress domains. The findings demonstrate the universality of fearful future anticipations among adolescents with different cultural backgrounds and underline the stressfulness of identity development during the transition to adulthood.