Psychological Consequences of Experienced Stress in Childhood — Phenomena of "Abandonment" and "Involvement"

144

Abstract

The article deals with the fundamental problem of psychology, devoted to the theoretical analysis of the specifics of the child's experience of stressful situations with different levels of traumatization. Along with the lack of childhood stress understanding and research, the very principles of differentiation between every day and traumatic stress remain the least studied. In the theory of post-traumatic stress, it has been proven that one of the criteria for the danger/safety of a life situation is a person's subjective evaluation of the life threat degree. Such an assessment is based on the individual's representations of psychological safety and its components, such as "internal comfort", "experience/awareness" and "positive environment". In the course of a theoretical analysis of the problem of child's stress, we have shown in the article that a child's feeling of internal comfort and stability depends on the degree of the environment activity, its ability not only to protect the child, but also to provide additional opportunities. In accordance with the purpose of the work, the primary emphasis is not on the resourcefulness of the child's social environment, but on its limitation — the phenomena of "abandonment" and "involvement", which are analyzed taking into account a specific context — the impact on the child of everyday stressors and stressors of high intensity. The methodological basis of the study was the system (B.F. Lomov) and subject-activity approaches (S.L. Rubinshtein, A.V. Brushlinsky and others), the dynamic approach to the study of personality (L.I. Antsyferova). Focusing on these approaches has allowed us to consider the child stress in accordance with a whole system of factors (the nature of the stressor, supporting/non-supporting social environment, etc.). The methods of abstraction, formalization and interpretation are used as theoretical procedures. On the basis of an expert assessment, the features of reactions to everyday stress (situations of interaction of a child with parents and peers) are highlighted, which, unlike traumatic stress (situations of an extreme nature), are not determined by the impact of a specific stressor, but arise as a response to a latent cause of a diffuse nature associated with violation of social and information safety of the child. Manifestations of everyday stress act as a child's reaction to the feeling of "abandonment", which turns out to be associated with emotional, social and informational deprivation, with the leveling or distortion by adults of the child's social roles (the role structure of interaction). The feeling of being "involved" in the context of a traumatic event is accompanied by physical deprivation and a more intense experience of emotional deprivation (emotional rejection), including the child in non-normative social relations and imposing obligations on him that do not correspond to the level of the child's physical, social and mental maturity. The phenomena of abandonment and involvement are analyzed using examples of various situations of everyday and psycho-traumatic nature.

General Information

Keywords: psychological safety, everyday stress, child, parents, post-traumatic stress, traumatic stress, abandonment, involvement

Journal rubric: Theoretical Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpse.2022110303

Funding. The study was funded by Russian Science Foundation (RSF) according to the research project № 22-28-00972.

Received: 26.02.2022

Accepted:

For citation: Kharlamenkova N., Nikitina D., Shatalova N., Dymova E. Psychological Consequences of Experienced Stress in Childhood — Phenomena of "Abandonment" and "Involvement" [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2022. Vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 71–96. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2022110303. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Natalia Kharlamenkova, Doctor of Psychology, professor, deputy director, Institute of Psychology of Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0508-4157, e-mail: nataly.kharlamenkova@gmail.com

Daria Nikitina, researcher, Institute of Psychology Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6695-1851, e-mail: d.a.nikitina@yandex.ru

Nadezhda Shatalova, leading specialist, Institute of Psychology of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1413-7529, e-mail: shatalovane@ipran.ru

Ekaterina Dymova, Junior Researcher, Laboratory of Psychology of the Development of the Subject in Normal and Post-Traumatic Conditions, Institute of Psychology of Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9638-5595, e-mail: grebennikovakaty@mail.ru

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