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Sense of life and values of children at risk
In psychological research, the term refers to the awareness of the relationship to life goals. When comprehending his own life, a person is in a state of equilibrium with the environment, in the absence of meanings, problems appear in life and self-realization. The main components of meaning in psychology - the integration of personal and social reality, the explanation and interpretation of life and the life goal (task) - find insufficient manifestation in children and adolescents who find themselves in difficult life situations. This category is called “children at risk” (meaning the risk to the society that they create, and the risk of their loss of life, health, development opportunities). It includes children with developmental problems that do not have a pronounced clinical and pathological characteristics, who were left without parental care due to various, including those without legal force, children from dysfunctional, asocial families, who need socio-economic and social psychological assistance and support.
The characterization of modern children at risk in adolescence does not inspire much optimism, but any specialist working with them should be able to clearly see the future prospects of these adolescents and help them take the first steps to change themselves. According to sociological and psychological studies, adolescents at risk have the following features:
1. Lack of values accepted in society (creativity, cognition, vigorous activity); the conviction of their uselessness in society, the inability to achieve anything in life on their own, with their mind and talent, to occupy a worthy position among peers, to achieve material well-being.
2. Projecting on yourself the modern life of your own parents, resembling a race for survival.
3. A feeling of emotional rejection by the parents and at the same time psychological autonomy.
4. Among the values in the first place - a happy family life, in the second - material well-being, in the third - health.
5. At the same time, the seeming inaccessibility of these values in life. High value combined with inaccessibility gives rise to internal conflict - one of the sources of stress.
6. Reinforcing the loss of the value of education in real life — for example, those who studied poorly or did not study at all, but succeeded in life (has a tent, garage, car, etc.) - without knowing the true ways to achieve such “values”.
7. An increased level of anxiety and aggressiveness.
8. The prevalence of the value of a beautiful, easy life, the desire to receive from life only pleasures.
9. A change in the focus of interests — free pastime (in the entrance, on the street, away from home, etc.), a feeling of complete freedom (leaving home, running away, traveling, situations of risk, etc.).
10. In relations with adults, deviations in communication are characteristic, leading to the experience of being useless, the loss of one's own value and the value of another person.
Analysis of the works of classics of psychology and major psychologists, for example L.S. Vygotsky, showed that adolescents can distinguish several main interest groups with one or another dominant. These include: egocentric dominant - interest in self; the dominant force is adolescents' craving for resistance, overcoming, and volitional tensions, which can be manifested in stubbornness, hooliganism, the struggle against authorities, protests, etc .; the dominant of romance is the desire of adolescents for the unknown, risky, for adventure, for heroism. D.B. Elkonin in his writings identified the symptoms of adolescent development. Among these symptoms are difficulties in relations with adults (negativity, stubbornness, indifference to assessing successes, leaving school, all the most interesting things happen outside of school, etc.). At this time, children begin to keep diaries, secret notebooks in which they freely, independently, independently express their thoughts and feelings. Special children's companies appear (a teenager is looking for a friend, someone who can understand him, etc.), which leads to the organization of informal teenage communities.
In studies T.V. Dragunova, O.V. Dashkevich, I.V. Dubrovinoy, A.M. Parishioners, N.N. Tolstoy revealed manifestations of adolescent difficulties in modern social conditions of training and education, as well as in special life situations. Research results show that modern adolescents have special values and meanings of life, which are largely determined by the living conditions of the child in the family and society.
According to A.L. Likhtarnikov, in adolescents deprived of parental care, ideas about a happy person and about happiness are significantly different from the ideas of adolescents from normal families. The most common responses of adolescents at risk are: the presence of food, sweets (lots of cake), toys, gifts, clothes. Such “material” characteristics show that even for fifteen-year-olds, a toy is a necessary attribute of a happy child.
Appeal to the toy, perhaps, allows the teenager to compensate for the lack of emotional warmth and dissatisfaction with social needs. Among adolescents deprived of parental care, 43% say that they have minimal signs of a happy person, which can be interpreted as the position “I am not happy”; in normal families, only 17% of such adolescents were found.
A feature of adolescents at risk is the experience of loneliness and helplessness. The concept of “helplessness” is considered by us as such a state of a teenager when he cannot cope with his problem himself, does not receive and cannot ask for help from others, or is in an uncomfortable state. In adolescents at risk, this condition is associated with specific life situations: the inability to change relationships with parents, adults, teachers, peers; with difficult situations in which they find themselves; with the inability to make independent decisions or make choices; when in institutions of social and educational support.
For children of high school age belonging to the risk group, a special process of socialization is characteristic. As a rule, they live most of their lives in such institutions (orphanages, boarding schools, shelters, under guardianship) or in a dysfunctional family. Most graduates of institutions of social and pedagogical support are characterized by specific personality and life characteristics that can be described. These, in our opinion, include:
1) inability to communicate with people outside the institution, difficulties in establishing contacts with adults and peers, estrangement and distrust of people, isolation from them;
2) violations in the development of feelings that do not allow us to understand and accept others, relying only on our desires and feelings;
3) a low level of social intelligence, which hinders the understanding of social norms, rules, the need to comply with them, to find their own kind and your circle of friends;
4) a poorly developed sense of responsibility for their actions, indifference to the fate of those who connected their lives with them, a vividly manifested feeling of jealousy for them;
5) consumer psychology of attitude to relatives, the state, society and unwillingness to answer for their own actions, which is expressed in rental attitudes;
6) self-doubt, low self-esteem, lack of constant friends and support from them;
7) lack of willpower, lack of purposefulness aimed at future life, most often purposefulness is manifested in the achievement of immediate goals: to get what is desired, attractive, etc., which leads to victimization (sacrifice) in behavior;
8) lack of life plans, the need for life values related to the satisfaction of the most urgent needs (in food, clothing, housing, entertainment);
9) low social activity, a manifestation of the desire to be an inconspicuous person, not to attract attention;
10) a tendency to addictive (self-destructive) behavior - abuse of one or more psychoactive substances without signs of dependence. It can serve as a kind of regressive form of psychological defense (smoking, alcohol, soft drugs, toxic and medicinal substances, etc.).
Children of senior school age are on the verge of an independent life, for which they do not consider themselves ready. On the one hand, they want to live independently, separately, not depend on anyone; on the other hand, they are afraid of this independence, because they understand that they cannot survive without the support of parents and relatives, and they cannot count on it. This duality of feelings and desires leads to high school student dissatisfaction with their life and themselves.
The meaning of life and value orientations in children at risk differ in many manifestations from the meaning of life and value orientations in children brought up under normal conditions. The implementation of the values of the risk group is carried out through self-assertion in what seems especially important, manifestations of independence and courage bordering on violation of the law, as well as by adopting a special life position in society; for adolescents in this group is characterized by passivity in their achievement. The value range of adolescents and older youth at risk does not include such qualities as honesty, responsibility, tolerance, sensitivity. They are sure that nothing depends on them, and therefore they are always looking for their patrons, they are not interested in public recognition of activity, but only in their own status in society. The tendency to freedom, independence leads to the search for activities that bring only material satisfaction, and in the methods of "obtaining" funds, they are indiscriminate. Among the risk groups, young men, whose age ranges from 16 to 23 years, are especially sensitive to changes in the values and meaning of life.
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Sense of life and values of children at risk
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