The Selfie Phenomenon and Its Role in the Life of the Modern Teenager



Objective. The stude presents a study aimed at clarifying the psychological meaning of the selfie phenomenon, the role of selfie in the life of modern teenagers. Materials and methods. The study involved 22 people, 13 girls and 9 boys, among them 17 high school students, aged 14—17, and 5 university students, aged 18—21. Interviews were conducted with the participants, and a discussion was organized regarding the issues of use and attitudes towards selfies. Processing of interview and discussion materials was carried out with the help of thematic and content analysis. Results. Various views on the psychological nature of the selfie, the reasons for its popularity among young people are considered. The author’s interpretation of the phenomenon of selfie in the context of the theory of «transitional object» by D.W. Winnicott and A. Langley’s existential analysis is presented. The paper shows that selfie is a new means of knowing oneself, building a true image of oneself through a virtual image of the body in the space between the image of the Self and reality.

General Information

Keywords: selfie phenomenon, adolescents, «transitional object», self-image

Journal rubric: Empirical Researches

Article type: scientific article


Received: 11.10.2021


For citation: Pavlova N.V., Filippova E.V. The Selfie Phenomenon and Its Role in the Life of the Modern Teenager. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2022. Vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 109–131. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2022300107. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Natalia V. Pavlova, MA in Psychology, psychologist, ANO «Center for the Development and Socialization of Children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities “The Communication Space”», Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Elena V. Filippova, PhD in Psychology, Professor, the head of the Child and family psychotherapy chair, Psychological counseling faculty, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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