Coping Styles of Young People Dealing with Traumatic Events Reflected in Fairy Tales



The study examines the coping styles of adolescents (young people) (N=43, 37 f/6 m, age range 17-20, median age = 18) in deal with a traumatic life event, as reflected in standardized questionnaires and fairy tales written by themselwes, through the use of projective technique called "А person in the rain". Several types of traumatic life events in youth assessments were distinguished. It was found out that respondents with the victimized coping style use: the strategy of search for social support; strategy of social contact; cautious, aggressive, antisocial and indirect actions; avoidance; getting stuck in the situation and focusing on emotions; and passivity. The respondents with a hardiness coping style use the strategy of search for social support; strategy of social contact; acceptance of the situation; growth; development; renovation; assertive and careful actions. The respondents with an unformed coping style use the strategies of adoption, growth and development; updates; activity; a strategy of experience acquisition; focusing on emotions; loss of self; and escape into fantasy. The study shows that today’s young people are able to withstand the events associated with the trauma, using a fairly extensive arsenal of coping strategies. The fairy tale is an indicator allowing to diagnose styles and coping strategies specific to adolescents (young people) as well as contributing to the gentle and careful reduction of acute negative emotional experiences, encouraging the search for constructive ways to overcome them.

General Information

Keywords: victimized coping style, hardiness coping style, traumatic life event, fairy tale

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Odintsova M.A., Radchikova N.P., Kulyatskaya M.G. Coping Styles of Young People Dealing with Traumatic Events Reflected in Fairy Tales [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2017. Vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 90–104. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2017060407. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Maria A. Odintsova, PhD in Psychology, Docent, Head of the Department of Psychology and Pedagogy of Distance Learning, Faculty of Distance Learning, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Nataly P. Radchikova, PhD in Psychology, Leading Researcher of Scientific and Practical Center for Comprehensive Support of Psychological Research «PsyDATA», Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Chief Specialist of the Laboratory of Biophysics of Excitable Media, Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino;, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Maria G. Kulyatskaya, Psychologist at the Faculty of Distance Learning, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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