Barbara Blažanin

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Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade


Public Figures as Role Models of Serbian Adolescents: Who Are Idols and Why?

The work deals with public figures as role models of Serbian adolescents. We had three major goals: 1) to classify adolescents’ idols and compare data to previous studies; 2) to classify reasons for idols’ admiration and to relate them to specific role model types; 3) to test the relationship between idols’ preference and adolescents’ socio-demographic features. The sample was convenient and consisted of 1404 students from primary and secondary schools in 5 Serbian towns. The question regarding public role models and associated reasons was raised and pupils were asked to name a public figure they look up to and pro­vide explanation why. The results show that: 1) Public figures from show busi­ness are the most popular; one new category (entrepreneurs) as a subcategory (you-tubers and bloggers within show business category) has been added to the earlier classification of role models, and there are changes in role model types preference indicating a value shift in Serbian adolescents; 2) Professional suc­cess of public figures is the most valued characteristic and sensible connection between types of idols and associated reasons is established by GLM ANOVA and logistic regressions; 3) the connection between idols’ preference and ad­olescents’ socio-demographic features is partly confirmed showing that those features are important for understanding adolescents’ role model choices. The results have been discussed in the light of previous research and the future directions of this topic investigation.