Development of Self Image in Orphanage Children during the First Three Years of Life



The article presents study results on development of Self image in infancy and early childhood among orphanage children, comparing with the results of children nurtured in family. With infants, the method of mirror reflection perception was used. With elder children, wide range of methods was used, including: mirror reflection perception, recognition of one-self in photo, manifestation of the sense of ownership, gender identification, empathy, the ability to influence behavior of another person, attitude towards oneself. Findings indicate that orphanage children have significant retardation in development of main components of Self image: attitude towards oneself and representations about oneself. It is concluded that lack of full-fledged personality-oriented communication with adults during the first year of life inhibits formation of subjectness, which is the core structure in the Self image. In early childhood, retardation in shaping the representation about one-self, own possibilities and abilities in orphanage children worsens compared with children nurtured in families.

General Information

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

For citation: Avdeeva N.N. Development of Self Image in Orphanage Children during the First Three Years of Life. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2009. Vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 13–23. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Natalia N. Avdeeva, PhD in Psychology, Professor at chair of Developmental Psychology Name after L.F. Obukhova, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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