Psychological Safety of Children Left without Parental Care under the Conditions of Institutionalization or a Substitute Family



The article analyzes the notion of psychological security of orphans and children left without parental care. The role of psychological security in the personality development of the child is shown. A concept of psychological safety of children left without parental care was developed by the author. In addition to the genotype prerequisites, this concept can be viewed as a parametric function of two groups of variables (the internal position of the child and the external conditions), which dynamically depends on space and time. This approach allows identifying four types of safety states characteristic for these children. The conditions for psychological safety formation in a child under institutionalization and in transfer to various forms of family set-up are outlined. The change of internal position content in a child in the orphanage from “nobody’s” to alienated position of a graduate “one against all” is shown. The phenomenon of elevated sensitivity to new social conditions of an orphan raised in the family was discovered that can assure a rapid rise in his/her development.

General Information

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

For citation: Semya G.V. Psychological Safety of Children Left without Parental Care under the Conditions of Institutionalization or a Substitute Family. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2009. Vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 24–32. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Galina V. Semya, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Professor of the Department of Developmental Psychology named after Professor L.F. Obukhova" Faculty of Educational Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Professor of the Department of Psychological Anthropology of the Institute of Childhood of the Moscow Pedagogical State University., Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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