Identity processes and statuses in post-Soviet Georgia: Exploration processes operate differently

Nino Skhirtladze, Nino Javakhishvili, Seth J. Schwartz, Wim Beyers, Koen Luyckx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Identity formation is one of the main developmental tasks of emerging adulthood. Based on quantitative data on a five-dimensional model of identity formation, we concluded that the identity formation process has some different features in the Republic of Georgia than it does in many Western countries. Results obtained from young Georgian adults (N = 295, 82.6% female) yielded four exploration processes instead of three, which is in line with the recent Swiss findings. A key difference between Georgia and the Western contexts, however, is that exploration in breadth is highly correlated with ruminative exploration. Cluster analysis, which produced six identity clusters, also supported this pattern. Achievement, the most adjusted cluster in Western contexts, was relatively low on exploration in breadth. We discuss ways in which the Georgian transition from Soviet communism to a more globalized society may contribute to limited opportunities for identity exploration and may add some tension to the identity development process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-209
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Adolescence
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Commitment
  • Exploration
  • Identity
  • Identity status
  • Republic of Georgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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