The stages, content and context of adolescent identity
Adolescent identity attracts much interest in the research community, however the majority of existing studies conceptualise it as a global construct with minor examination of its content. The present research focuses on a snapshot of domainspecific identities: political, religious and occupational, viewed as complex constructs, and examines them in various dimensions. First, the developmental stages of global identity as theorised by Erikson and Marcia are critically contrasted with domainspecific identities. Second, the analysis of the content of adolescents' identities reveals different values, attitudes and beliefs, which were used in a cluster analysis to identify distinct identity types. Thirdly, gender and context differences of developmental stages, content and types of adolescents' identities are considered. The context of Greek Cypriot society, specifically, the ecological systems of the politics of partition, the strong Greek Orthodox faith and the contradictions of tradition and modernisation/Europeanization are used to understand the role of the environment in adolescents' identities. In a cross-sectional survey, 1,038 Greek Cypriot adolescents (449 males and 589 females, mean age 16.8) completed part of the Extended Objective Measure of Ego- Identity Status, which assesses identity developmental stages in both global and domain-specific identities. They were also asked to write three answers to three questions of the type "Who Are You?" in each of the referred identity domains. This valuable textual data was analysed by using both variable and person-centered approaches. The results suggest that the identity of adolescents does not always develop synchronously across its domains, thus, the presentation of only global identity conceals the complexity of identity as a multi-faceted concept. This was especially evident in the analysis of the content of political, religious and occupational identities that revealed interesting and varying elements, as well as meaningful and heterogeneous identity types. The significance of identity content and its use in the understanding of adolescent identity is highlighted. Gender and context are integral parts of the developmental stages and the content of adolescents' identities.