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Age psychology as a component of the methodological foundations of military psychology

Age psychology, being a branch of psychological science, studies the laws of mental development and the characteristics of personality formation at various stages of human ontogenesis from birth to old age. Age psychology took shape in an independent field of knowledge at the end of the last century as a child psychology and for a long time was limited to studying the child’s mental development. However, the demands of modern society and the logic of science have put forward the need for a more complete analysis of ontogenetic processes. Currently, sections of developmental psychology are: child psychology, youth psychology, mature psychology, old age psychology (gerontopsychology), which corresponds to the stages of the generally accepted periodization of a person’s mental development (childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age). In an effort to reveal the psychological content of these successive stages of ontogenesis, developmental psychology explores the age dynamics and leading factors in the development of mental processes and personality traits. The most important theoretical principles of developmental psychology are based on the works of L.S. Vygotsky, B.G. Ananyev, D. B. Elkonin, J. Piaget, Z. Freud, S. Buhler, E. Erickson and others. Among the main problems of developmental psychology include: crises of age-related development, psychological characteristics of age periods, driving forces and age-related opportunities for personal development, the ratio of the acquired qualities of the individual inborn and during the course of life, and others are widely used to study typological patterns of age groups received psychodiagnostic methods (observation, testing, questionnaires, analysis of results). A feature of the application of the ascertaining strategy in research in developmental psychology is the use of “transverse” and “longitudinal” sections. Age (transverse) sections allow you to compare the characteristics of different age samples. Longitudinal (longitudinal) studies make it possible to trace changes in any psychological properties on the same sample over a long period. Along with this, an important role in the system of methods of developmental psychology is played by the implementation of the formative strategy, which allows a directed influence on certain properties or aspects of the mental development of the subject: an active formative experiment, teaching and modeling methods.

Studying the mental activity and behavior of a developing person and being a largely applied industry, developmental psychology solves important practical problems. Among the most important of them are:

- the development of techniques, methods and forms to ensure the full psychological development of man at various stages of his life, especially in childhood and adolescence;

- search for the most optimal conditions and ways of organizing activities and communication, taking into account the typological laws of age periods;

- the provision of psychological assistance and support during age crises. For military psychologists, the solution of these problems by age psychology can constitute a scientific and methodological basis for the development of their own subject problems.

Acquiring in 50-60 years. independent status, domestic, military psychology was largely based on the achievements at that time in various branches of psychological science, including developmental psychology. Thus, an understanding of the typological in the structure of the personality of a serviceman was based on the recognition of the role of specific historical conditions in which the formation and mental development of a young man before serving in the Armed Forces, the nature of education, activity and communication, as well as heredity, which significantly determines the personal profile, took place. The leading activity of the warrior was considered as the main driving force for the development of his personality and the main determinant of the motivational sphere. The knowledge of typological patterns of military age allowed us to psychologically substantiate the methods and means of combat training of personnel. Consideration of age-related features and capabilities of military personnel was laid as the basis for professional and psychological selection and rational distribution of military specialties. The current state of military psychology and the expansion of the range of tasks it solves give particular acuteness to the methodological interpretation of its conceptual means, explanatory principles and methodological procedures. The expanding contacts of military psychology with other branches of psychological science enrich it with new ideas and approaches that develop its content and open up new prospects for its development.

Age psychology, which has recently received a new impetus in its development, including in connection with the emergence of a new scientific direction - acmeology (improving psychological and professional maturity), is of interest to a military psychologist on a number of significant problems that need to be resolved within the military psychology.

1. The most important of them is the disclosure of the laws governing the behavior and actions of soldiers in an environment of military training, service and combat activity. Knowing the dynamics of age-related development and some specific patterns of manifestation of a person’s motivation at a particular age can provide significant help here. For example, taking into account the characteristics of the transition period from youth to adulthood (18-20 years) in the psychological study of the personality of a military soldier of a military service requires an understanding that at this stage the transition from dependence on parents to independence is crucial in life’s self-determination. This factor significantly determines the motivational sphere of a young person. Having barely overcome the contradictions and difficulties of the “teenage crisis,” accompanied by his desire for freedom of expression by conflicts with adults, deliberate behavior, ignoring remarks and other elements of antisocial behavior, once in the army the young warrior again falls under the comprehensive guardianship and control of commanders. An internal conflict may arise and work out the psychological defense of the person in the form of regression, i.e. psychological return to adolescence with a characteristic demonstrativeness, zyuemosti, isolation, etc. The misconduct committed at the same time, violations of the subordination order are outwardly malicious enough, which can essentially be a manifestation of a defensive reaction of the teenage type.In this case, it is important to understand the young warrior, help him realize his significance and show responsibility as an armed defender of the homeland , create conditions for the implementation of the desire for independent decision-making, which will accelerate the adaptation process.
Attempts to change the behavior of a warrior by force, tightening control deepens the internal conflict and significantly complicates the position of a warrior. In this example, we examined the manifestation of only one age-related regularity of the transition period - the desire of the individual to independence, self-affirmation and self-expression. Age psychology, therefore, provides the keys to understanding the essential motivational and behavioral determinants of warriors. Therefore, the study of the officer’s personality involves taking into account the typological characteristics of early (21–25 years), middle (25–40 years) and late (40–55 years) adulthood. Each age period is characterized by its own crisis "peaks", the experience of which significantly affects all personal manifestations of a military man.

2. At present, the problem of determining the place and role of the Armed Forces as an institution of upbringing of the younger generation is seriously debated in society and in the army. Questions are being raised whether the army service is really a “school of life,” or is there a mental retardation in the army, and is cruelty and narrow-mindedness cultivated in the individual? Military psychology is called upon to investigate this problem and objectively substantiate the ongoing socio-psychological processes. One of the methodological provisions that allow us to give scientifically sound answers to such questions was developed in the framework of developmental psychology and is based on an understanding of the driving forces of personality development. In domestic science, the notion of leading activities as the main factor in personal development has been established. It “finds expression in a change in the motivation of activity: old motives lose their incentive power, new motives are born, leading to a rethinking of his previous actions. That activity, which previously played a leading role, begins to outlive itself and move into the background. A new leading activity is emerging, and with it a new stage of development. ” Currently, there is a clear understanding that along with leading activities, development is determined by many factors. Therefore, it is necessary to look for explanatory principles of the driving forces of the personality development of a serviceman both in biological maturation, deploying genetically based programs, and in the reaction of unrecognized drives, in education and teaching systems, etc. Human individuality is not only a product, but also a subject of its development. The knowledge of its true nature and causality requires a comprehensive examination, from the perspective of various concepts and schools, including biogenetic, and personological, and psychoanalytic, and cognitive, and sociological orientation is widely represented in age psychology.

3. Knowledge in the field of modern age psychology guides the officer in the search for the most optimal forms of educational work with his subordinates to turn to the study of their life paths, significant values, personal attitudes and unique individual experience acquired in the childhood and adolescence that determine the attitude of a soldier to his duties and military duty. For subtle educational interaction, it is important to find out the features of the formation and development of the personality (the formation of the concept of “I” and the conditions for the education of “not-I”), cognitive processes, the emotional sphere, puberty, psychological independence and social obligations, adaptive and adaptive mechanisms, and others ontogenetic factors.

4. Solving the tasks of finding ways to increase the effectiveness of the management processes of individual military personnel and units, military psychology is confronted with new, undeveloped issues arising from the transition of the Armed Forces to a contractual basis. So, in connection with the increase in the age level of the rank and file of contract soldiers, a situation often arises when the commander is younger than his subordinates by age. This creates certain psychological barriers in official relations, the removal of which involves addressing the problems of developmental psychology. Modern studies of the psychological characteristics of age maturity show that adulthood does not represent a frozen period of life and can be considered as a process of successive changes in mental states, social and professional roles, which allows us to develop flexible recommendations for platoon and company officers on conflict-free management of various categories of military personnel, depending on age level, as well as to overcome those gender-role difficulties that arise as received ia in units for the service under the contract of military personnel - women.

5. Recently, the focus on military psychology has become the focus of military psychology. In implementing this area of ​​activity of military psychologists, knowledge of developmental psychology can provide a delicate account in psychohygiene and psychoprophylaxis of those crisis phenomena and the characteristic properties of age periods that can provoke painful mental disorders and neurosis. Taking into account the specific features of the late maturity period with its characteristic crisis peaks, it allows more thoughtful work with officers and warrant officers who are completing their service and preparing to be transferred to the reserve. Of undoubted value are the knowledge of typological patterns of age periods for conducting psycho-diagnostic measures. Correction for some age-related features can significantly enhance the prognostic value of professional psychological selection. Thus, developmental psychology, being a basic theoretical subject, largely solves applied research problems of direct relevance to military psychology. This aims military psychologists to closely study the theoretical problems of developmental psychology for a deeper and more subtle understanding of the phenomena and processes that military psychology explores. The consistent build-up of the empirical base of military psychological research within the framework of the problems of developmental psychology is a relevant and promising area of ​​scientific and pedagogical activity.
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Age psychology as a component of the methodological foundations of military psychology

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