Actualization of Constructive Emotional Experience of Guilt in Delinquent Minors



The article investigates psychological essence of guilt and peculiarities of its experience in young offenders. It is empirically proved that minors inclined to delinquency do not experience pronounced feeling of guilt and that is related to inadequately high self-appraisal, extraversion, inclination to dominant independent relationships, non-critical attitude to own misdeeds, conflicts with mothers. Felling unprotected activates unconscious usage of psychological defensive mechanisms. The dominating mechanisms of psychological defense in young offenders include: displacement, regression and projection. The profile of prevailing trends in social interactions include: aggressive-dominant style of interactions, rejection of obedient and dependent positions. Feelings play an important role is the behavior regulation of delinquent adolescents. Children from dysfunctional families, feeling unprotected, feel fear and anxiety instead of guilt as they break the law. That is conditioned by certain psychological defenses. The article suggests a range of interventions that facilitate constructive experience of guilt and the following integration of the adolescents in the community.

General Information

Keywords: self-concept, emotional experience of guilt, mechanisms of psychological defense, reflexive analysis of a misdeed.

Journal rubric: Legal Psychology of Childhood

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Rostomova L.N. Actualization of Constructive Emotional Experience of Guilt in Delinquent Minors [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2011. Vol. 1, no. 2 (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Lada N. Rostomova, PhD in Psychology, lecturer at the Foreign languages chair of Odessa State University of Internal Affairs, Odessa, Ukraine, e-mail:



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