Medicine, Mind and Adolescence, 1993 - 1994 - VIII, 2 - IX,1

Adolescentology in developing countries : the Albanian experience

M. Bosio, N. Xhepa, R. Xhepa, L. Xhelili

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Albania, after 50 years of communist dictatorship is an economically and spiritually poor country due to a long cultural regression.

The situation of Albanian adolescents is negatively influenced by the failure of protective factors such as traditional values represented and defended by the family, by faith in God and by a good school education.

On the contrary protective factors are frequently substituted by consumistic models offered by mass-media, promoting an obsession for obtaining well-fare at any cost.

The Italian Society of Adolescentology (I.S.Ad.) has taken into consideration the dramatic condition of Albanian youth with the aim to develop an adolescent’ culture, according to ethic and epistemological principles of its statute and the "Declaration of Youth's Rights and Duties" (Milan, December 1992).

Several physicians and educators of different Albanian regions agreed from the beginning to the project and are actively collaborating with it.

Firstly, epidemiological data on selected Albanian adolescents were collected. Scientific literature has been diffused to permit a critical outlook on the problems with the help of an expert's explanations.

Collaborative researches have been designed to develop methodological and scientific skills, as well as to collect data about health conditions of Albanian adolescents.

Moreover, the holistic approach to the adolescent has been explained to medical doctors and educators.

The first results show the impossibility to collect sure epidemiological data, because of the fact that the communist regime has falsified them, and because the recent ones have not been gathered according to the W.H.O. suggestions (criterion).

They show high natality, infant mortality and abortive rates.

Abortion, illegal until 1991, has been the only contraceptive method used by fertile age women.

The first phase of collaboration is verifying the real nature and dimensions of the problems and the better cultural approach in facing them.

Initiatives have been privileged that permit the active Albanian participation in realization of projects well defined in their goals, scientific methodology and financial supports. Regarding this point a collaborative (Italian- Albanian) research that could be financed by international organisms is under evaluation; its realization could permit an autonomous development of Albanian adolescentology.

This would be the first research on health conditions of Albanian High school students realized using an appropriate questionnaire performed by the Institute of Medicine and Psychology of Adolescence of Milan and previously tested on Italian students of the same age.

The aim of the study is to investigate the causes of discomfort of adolescents in the difficult transition phase Albania is passing through. This population will be a referable group to compare to further generations of students in a next investigation.

Apart from the financial and communication difficulties, there are other obstacles to be surpassed for the realization of the collaboration project. Especially, an alteration of mentality in institution officials has to be verified, who are less sensible to cultural ferments of intellectuals, who on their part, have been for a long time deprived of the possibility of cultural exchange.

I.S.Ad. efforts consist on developing a critical conscience in the cultural approach to the adolescent, just within a cultural frame of strong Muslim influence, incredulity towards the occident, caused by years of a police regime governed by "scientific atheism".

We think that a rigorously epistemological and scientific approach, respecting the traditional culture and the spirit of solidarity is indispensable for the realization of programs of cultural collaboration with developing countries.

M. Bosio, N. Xhepa, R. Xhepa, L. Xhelili: "Adolescentology in developing countries: the albanian experience". Paper presented at the First International Congress of Adolescentology, Assisi, Italy, October 22-24, 1993.

Key Words: Adolescentology, Albany, Health, Scientific Cooperation, Solidarity

M. Bosio: Vice-President of Italian Society of Adolescentology (I.S.Ad.), Milano.
N. Xhepa: Rapresentative of Physics Department of Tirana's University, Albania.
R. Xhepa, L. Xhelili: Rapresentatives of Medicine Department of Tirana's University, Albania.

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