Identity Salience and its dynamics in Palestinians Adolescents


The goal is to build and test a measure for identity salience and use it to explore the validity of some assumptions of the identity trauma theory (ITT). ITT suggests that the salience of identity concerns, personal, and collective enhances or negatively affect agency and self-efficacy and explain suicidality and militancy. Using samples of 880 Palestinian adolescents, we developed in the first study a measure for identity salience that included sub-scales for identity commitment and militancy. In the second study we used the measure along with measures for fear of death, mental health variables, and trauma types. Personal identity traumas were associated with decrease in fear of death; increase in mental health problems and in clinical suicide. Collective identity traumas were associated with increase in identity commitment and militancy. Militancy was found to be associated with decreased PTSD which suggests that militancy acts as anxiety buffer. Identity commitment was associated with decrease in militancy. The implications of the results were discussed.

Share and Cite:

Kira, I. , Alawneh, A. , Aboumediane, S. , Mohanesh, J. , Ozkan, B. & Alamia, H. (2011). Identity Salience and its dynamics in Palestinians Adolescents. Psychology, 2, 781-791. doi: 10.4236/psych.2011.28120.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Antony MM, Bieling PJ, Cox BJ, Enns MW, Swinson RP. (1998). Psychometric properties of the 42-item and 21-item versions of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales in clinical groups and a community sample. Psychological Assessment; 10:176-181.
[2] Arbuckle, J. L. (2006). Amos 7.0 User's Guide. Chicago: SPSS
[3] Ashmore, R. D., Deaux, K., & McLaughlin-Volpe, T. (2004). An organizing framework for collective identity: Articulation and significance of multidimensionality. Psychological Bulletin, 130, 80-114.
[4] Bandura, A. (1997), Self-efficacy: The exercise of control, New York: Freeman.
[5] Becker, E. (1962). The birth and death of meaning. New York: Free Press.
[6] Becker, E. (1973). The denial of death. New York: Free Press.
[7] Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss. Vol. 1: Attachment. New York: Basic Books.
[8] Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base (2nd ed.). New York: Basic Books.
[9] Blake, D. D., Weathers, F. W., Nagy, L. M., Kaloupek, D. G., Klau-minzer, G., Charney, D. S., &
[10] Keane, T. M. (1990). A clinician rating scale for assessing current and lifetime PTSD: The CAPS-1. The Behavior Therapist, 13, 187-188.
[11] Bullock, H.E., Harlow, L.L., Mulaik, S.A., 1994. Causal issues in structural equation modeling research. Structural Equation Modeling 1, 253-267.
[12] Carmel, S. & Mutran, E. (1997a). Wishes regarding the use of life-sustaining treatments among elderly persons in Israel: An explanatory model. Social Science and Medicine, 45, 1715-1727.
[13] Carmel, S., & Mutran, E. (1997b). Preferences for different life-sustaining treatments among elderly persons in Israel. Journal of Gerontology, 52B (2), S97-S102.
[14] Cassiman, S. A. (2005). Toward more inclusive poverty knowledge: Traumatological contributions to the poverty discourse. The Social Policy Journal, and: Cutting Edge of Social Policy Research, 4, 93- 106.
[15] Erceg-Hurn, D. & Mirosevich, V. (2008). Modern robust statistical methods: An easy way to maximize the accuracy and power of your research. American Psychologist, 63(7), 591-601.
[16] Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and society (2nd Ed.). New York: Norton.
[17] Erikson, E. H. (1980). Identity and the life cycle. (2nd Ed.). New York: Norton.
[18] Gross, F. L. (1987). Introducing Erik Erikson: An invitation to his thinking. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
[19] Hu L, Bentler PM. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling; 6:1-55.
[20] Ibn Khald?n. (1968). Al-Muqaddima (Discours sur l’histoire univer- selle), Tome 1. Paris: Sindbad. (Original work published 1377).
[21] Kira, I (2010). Etiology and Treatments of post- cumulative traumatic Stress disorders in Different Cultures Traumatology: An Interna- tional Journal.
[22] Kira, I. (2006). Collective identity terror in the Israeli-Palestinian con- flict and potential solutions. In Judy
[23] Kuriansky (Ed.), Terror in the Holy land, inside the anguish of Israeli- Palestinian Conflict, pp. 125-130: Praeger
[24] Kira, I. (2002, August). Suicide terror and collective trauma: A collective terror management paradigm. Paper presented in the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Chicago, Illinois. APA Website: PsychExtra data base.
[25] Kira, I. (2004). Cumulative Trauma Disorder: A new scale for complex PTSD. Paper presented in the XXVIII International Congress of Psychology, held in Beijing, China, August 8-13.
[26] Kira, I. (2001). Taxonomy of trauma and trauma assessment. Traumatology, 2, 1-14.
[27] Kira, I. (1997). Value Processing: A clinical cross-cultural model (an empirical study). Ph.D. Dissertation in Counseling, Columbia P. University, UMI Dissertation Abstracts Data Base.
[28] Kira, I. (1987). Human values: A conceptual model for the dynamics of value processing. Master
[29] Thesis presented to the graduate faculty of California State University, Hayward.
[30] Kira, I.; Templin, T.; Lewandowski, L.; Ramaswamy, V.; Bulent, O.; Abu-Mediane, S.; Mohanesh,
[31] J.; Alamia, H. (2011). Cumulative Tertiary appraisal of traumatic events across cultures: Two studies. Journal of Loss and Trauma: International Perspectives on Stress & Coping, 16:43-66.
[32] Kira, I.; Lewandowski, L.; Templin, T.; Ramaswamy, V.; Ozkan, B. & Mohanesh, J. (2008). Measuring
[33] Cumulative Trauma Dose, Types and Profiles Using a Development- Based Taxonomy of Trauma, Traumatology, 14(2), 62-87.
[34] Kira, I., Clifford, D. & Al-haider (2003). Assessing and treating cumulative trauma disorders (CTD) in Iraqi refugees. Paper presented in the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Toronto, Canada, August 7-11. APA Website: PsychExtra data base.
[35] Kira, I., Clifford, D., & Al-Haidar, A. (2002). Cumulative Trauma Disorder in Iraqi refugees in Michigan: A Preliminary data. Paper presented in the Second Annual Symposium on Refugee, held in Dearborn, Michigan, November.
[36] Kirkpatrick, L. A., & Navarrete, C. D. (2006). Reports of my death anxiety have been greatly exaggerated: A critique of terror management theory from an evolutionary perspective. Psychological Inquiry, 17, 288-298.
[37] Kline RB. (2005). Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling, 2nd Edition. New York: The Guilford Press.
[38] Kruglanski, A. W.; Chen, X.; Dechesne, M.; Fishman, S.; & Orehek, E. (2009). Fully Committed Suicide bombers’ motivations and the quest for personal significance. Political Psychology, 30, 331-357.
[39] Lovibond, P.F. & Lovibond, S.H. (1995). The structure of negative emotional states: Comparison of the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS) with the Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories, Behavior Research and Therapy, 33, 335-342.
[40] McCall, G. J., & Simmons, J. L. (1978). Identities and interactions (Rev. ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.
[41] Mulrow C, Williams JW, Gerety MB, Ramirez G, Montiel OM, Kerber CL: Case-finding instruments for depression in primary care settings. Annals of Internal Medicine, 122: 913-921, 1995.
[42] Orme,-John-G.; Reis,-Janet; Herz,-Elicia-J. (1986). Factorial and discriminant validity of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale. Journal of Clinical-Psychology; 42(1) 28-33.
[43] MacCallum, R. C., & Austin, J. T. (2000). Applications of Structural Equation Modeling in psychological research. Annual Review of Psychology, 51, 201-226.
[44] McGregor, Η. Α., Lieberman, J. D., Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., Aradt, J., Simon, L. &Pyszczynski, T. (1998). Terror management and aggression: Evidence that mortality salience motivates aggression against worldview-threatening others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 74. 590-605.
[45] Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J., & Solomon, S. (1999). A dual-process model of defense against conscious and unconscious death-related thoughts: An extension of terror management theory. Psychological Review, 106, 835-845.
[46] Navarrete, C.D.; Kurzban, R.; Fessler, D. & Kirkpatrick, L. (2004). Anxiety and Intergroup Bias:
[47] Terror Management or Coalitional Psychology? Group Processes Intergroup Relations; 7: 370-397.
[48] Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population, Applied Psychological Measurement, 1, 385-401.
[49] Rasmussen, J & Erikson, E. E. (1963). Childhood and society (2nd ed.). New York: Norton.
[50] Rosenbaum, P.R., 2002. Observational Studies. second ed. Springer, New York.
[51] Routledge, C., & Arndt, J. (2008). Self-sacrifice as self-defense: Mortality salience increases efforts to affirm a symbolic immortal self at the expense of the physical self. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 531-541.
[52] Smith, H. J., Spears, R., & Hamstra, I. J. (1999). Social identity and the context of relative deprivation. In N. Ellemers & R. Spears (Eds.), Social identity: Context, commitment, content (pp. 205-229). Oxford, England: Basil Blackwell.
[53] Stryker, S., & Burke, P. J. (2000). The past, present, and future of an identity theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, 63, 284-297.
[54] Stryker, S., & Serpe, R.T. (1982). Commitment, identity salience, and role behavior: A theory and research example. In W. Ickes & E.S. Knowles (Eds.), Personality, roles, and social behavior (pp. 199- 218). New York: Springer-Verlag.
[55] Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In S. Worchen & W. G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 7-24). Chicago: Nelson Hall.
[56] Templin, T.; Kira, A.; Lewandowski, L.; Hammad, A; Mohanesh, J., & Abdulkhaleq, H. (2006, August). Annihilation Anxiety, trauma dose, and trauma negative appraisal: A new measure for annihilation anxiety. Paper presented in the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana.
[57] Walker, I., & Pettigrew, T. F. (1984). Relative deprivation theory: An overview and conceptual critique. British Journal of Social Psychology, 23, 301-310.
[58] Weathers, F.; Keane, T. & Davidson, J. (2001). The Clinician-Administered PTSD scale: A review of the first ten years of research. Depression and Anxiety. 13(3), 132-156.
[59] Werner, P., & Carmel, S. (2001b). Life-sustaining treatment decisions: Health care social workers’ attitudes and their correlates. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 34(4), 83-97.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.