Modern Child: on the Way to Understanding



The article summarizes the results of the range of researches presented at the international conference “The Other Childhood” (November 2009, MSUPE). Contemporary childhood is regarded in the frames of social and cultural changes in the society. To illustrate and document contradictory features of contemporary childhood the article reproduces several passages from the essay “Modern child – what is (s)he like?” written by lay people of different ages. They tend to be generally similar to the peculiarities figured out by professional psychologists. Special attention is paid to the fact that most of the reports presented at the “The Other Childhood” conference dealt with “high risk” groups of children. The reasons for inadequate behavior in delinquent adolescents, including their personal egocentrism, are discussed. The article demonstrates the results of state-of-art researches in child giftedness and their potential to differentiate types of giftedness and create different programs for its support and development. Also the article deals with the statistical data on percentage ratio of children with different types of developmental problems. The final issue of the article is the problem of the normal development and its trajectories in the normative frames as well as outside them. The authors articulate the task of studying normative child development from the standpoints of cultural-historical psychology in the contemporary socio-cultural context.

General Information

Keywords: modern child, society, childhood, developmental norms, gifted child, deviant adolescent, play

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Obukhova L.F., Kotliar I.A. Modern Child: on the Way to Understanding. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2010. Vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 5–19. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Lyudmila F. Obukhova, Doctor of Psychology, Head of the Developmental Psychology Department, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia

Inna A. Kotliar, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Dubna State University Research Associate, Center of Applied Psychological and Pedagogical Studies, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Dubna, Russia, e-mail:



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