Social Ostracism and Minors’ Antisocial Behavior

154

Abstract

Social ostracism (ignoring, exclusion, rejection) is a powerful psychological phenomenon. The palette of reactions to ostracism is very rich, ranging from social mimicry, affiliative attempts to restore inclusive status to the manifestation of aggression suppression of aggression and loss of life meaning. The article presents the empirical study results of the impact of long-term social ostracism on such parameters as individual and typological characteristics of personality, the tendency to deviant behavior, coping strategies, and socio-psychological adaptation of minors. The purpose of the research is a comprehensive study of the social ostracism influence on the formation of antisocial behavior patterns in minors. The study was conducted in 5 family education assistance centers, 1 university, and 1 organization of secondary vocational education (the Russian Federation). Total sample — 271 minors (123 males; 148 females; Mage=15.29). The study recorded a high correlation between aggressive and autodestructive behavior in antisocial minors who have experienced long-term ostracism. Extremely low psychological resource capacity was also found in this group.

General Information

Keywords: social ostracism, antisocial behavior, minors, aggression, autodestructive behavior, low resource capacity, learned helplessness

Journal rubric: Legal Psychology of Childhood

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/psylaw.2023130109

Received: 19.03.2022

Accepted:

For citation: Boykina E.E. Social Ostracism and Minors’ Antisocial Behavior [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2023. Vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 119–134. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2023130109.

Full text

Introduction

The issues of determining minors` antisocial behavior, which has a high chance of transitioning to the level of a serious criminal offense, are constantly the focus of scientific attention [1; 7; 8]. Among a number of reasons, researchers name economic, psychological, social, organizational, and others. As to recent research, among the significant factors of antisocial behavior of adolescents and youth, the phenomenon of social ostracism (processes of ignoring, exclusion, rejection) is increasingly being mentioned [3; 10; 19; 21]. According to the report of the Commission of the International Society for Research on Aggression, in the second place (out of seven) among the “environmental risk factors for youth violence”, experts put the factor of “social exclusion and isolation”, skipping ahead only the factor of “easy access to guns” [2]. H.M. Knapton explains the mechanism of the formation of “homegrown terrorism” and the process of radicalization and extremism by ignoring and excluding a person by society, which at the same time goes through the stages of identity loss, violation of needs, and cognitive deconstruction [9]. E.G. Dozortseva, D.S. Oshevsky, and K.V. Syrokvashina, relying on the data of a complex forensic psychological and psychiatric expertise of minors who have committed attacks on educational institutions, in addition to the presence of specific personal structures in the aggressors, provide data on their “special socio-psychological status of outcasts and isolated” [3]. Thus, the study of the mechanism of influence of the phenomenon of social ostracism, which includes such sub-constructs as ignoring, exclusion, and/or rejection, on the choice of a minor prosocial or antisocial response is an urgent and in-demand task of preventing juvenile delinquency from the point of view of both science and practice.

Social Ostracism

The analysis of scientific sources allowed us to establish that social ostracism is initially perceived by a person reflexively and causes activation of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which is an indicator of physical pain in the brain [4]. Cognitive assessment of ostracization and further decision on the direction of response (antisocial, prosocial, or withdrawal) is taken by a person later and based on the interaction of a number of factors, both situational and dispositional (taking into account the degree of negative impact (feelings, emotions, a state of emotional stupor), the degree of threat to the fundamental needs of belonging, self-respect, control, meaningful existence) [27]. In the case of prolonged (chronic) ignoring, exclusion, or rejection a person may be in a state of complete exhaustion. Social ostracism is an adaptive mechanism, it is necessary for human survival. It allows the group to maintain control and protect against those of its members who endanger its survival [29].
Empirical and experimental research provide converging evidence that threatening belonging and self-esteem needs, mediated by chronic social ostracism, make a person more socially attentive, and servile [27]. This makes it possible to use the ostracization factor as a recruitment mechanism by illegal (radical, extremist, sectarian, etc.) groups. K.D. Williams argues, to restore threatened by ostracism control and meaningful existence needs the fastest way is the “power method”: attracting attention, provocation, control, and power. In this regard, antisocial behavior is the most effective and quickest strategy for responding to social ostracism.
The link between antisocial behavior and violation of the control and meaningful existence needs (power and provocation cluster) can be also found in the 3N theory (Need-Narrative-Network, A. Kruglansky, et al.). Describing the process of radicalization, researchers found that “significance (the fundamental desire to matter, to be someone, to merit respect) loss leads to the adoption of extreme, group-oriented ideology and the support for violence” [10, p. 223].
Being ostracized is certainly a negative experience, it threatens fundamental needs (as to TNTM, K.D. Williams) and it causes a negative impact [27]. According to J.M. Twenge, K.R Catanese, and R.F. Baumeister, yet there is emotional numbness, and stupor (affective numbness) [25]. This condition is similar to the concept from psychiatry: “anaesthesia dolorosa psychica” (Latin) — painful mental anesthesia, in which a person feels mental emptiness and loses the ability to emotional experiences.
At first glance, it seems that social ostracism as an act of ignoring, rejection, and/or exclusion is some kind of externally observable action. As to J.B. Netzlek and his colleagues’ study, a person is ostracized on average about 25,000 times in a lifetime [13]. In reality, people often do not notice that they are ostracizing someone, and therefore do not realize the consequences of their actions. This statement can be confirmed by the typology of ostracism presented by K.D. Williams, who distinguishes the following types: role-prescribed ostracism, punitive ostracism, defensive ostracism, oblivious ostracism, and not-ostracism [14; 27]. It is also necessary to mention a number of other concepts that are described in scientific works as part of the study of social ostracism. Total digitalization and an increase in “screen time” in the lives of children and adolescents made it possible to manifest social ostracism in the new realities of modern life, namely in the virtual space, in the form of cyberostracism [5]. Often in the scientific literature, we can find such a term as the silent treatment, which implies a special case of social ostracism in dyads [27]. In school-shootings reviews devoted to the analysis of the social dynamics the term “romantic rejection” is mentioned [23]. The age of smartphones and gadgets has given the rise to another subspecies of social ostracism — phubbing (from “phone” + “snubbing”). A. Hales and his colleagues proved that in the case of phubbing (the interlocutor in face-to-face communication begins to be distracted by his phone, tablet), people who are varnished in this way experience the same psychological impact as from other forms of ostracism: emotional pain and a threat to four fundamental psychological needs (belonging, self-esteem, control, meaningful existence) [6]. A separate branch of research on current trends in social communication is devoted to the relationship between people in the Internet. In this regard, manifestations of ostracism can be found in such phenomena as ghosting (from “ghost”, “spook”) and orbiting (from “being in orbit”). In the case of ghosting, we are talking about an unexpected interruption of communication. In the case of orbiting the source of ostracism continues to stay “in orbit” of his/her target (e.g., viewing his/her activity in social networks) but ignores communication [16]. Over the past decade, the concept of cancel culture has firmly entered our lives. The point of cancel culture is to boycott famous people or brands that have been observed in sexist, homophobic, or racist statements or actions. According to society, they should be “canceled”, literally erased from the media space [11].

Study

The object of the study is social ostracism among minors.
The subject of the study is chronic social ostracism as a factor of minors` antisocial behavior.
The purpose of the research is a comprehensive study of the social ostracism influence on the formation of antisocial behavior patterns in minors.

Method

Participants
The study was conducted in 5 family education assistance centers, 1 university, and 1 organization of secondary vocational education (the Russian Federation). Total sample — 271 minors (123 males; 148 females; Mage=15.29).

Materials and Procedure

Due to the goal of this study, the following research methods were used: theoretical methods: (analysis, comparison, generalization), empirical methods (expert assessment method (including biographical information), and methods of mathematical and statistical data processing. When checking the data of diagnostic techniques for the normality of the distribution according to the Kolmogorov-Smirnov criterion, a significant part of the scales was not normal. In this regard, we have chosen nonparametric research criteria: Mann—Whitney criterion, Kruskel—Wallis criterion, Wilcoxon signed-rank test, and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.
The following methods of psychological diagnosis were also used:
Block No. 1 “Methods. Ostracism”:
  • “Ostracism Experience Scale for Adolescents (OES-A / ШСО-П — in Russ.)”, Gilman R. et al., 2012; adaptation by Boykina E., 2019;
  • “The Scale of Threatened Needs-Ostracism (STN-O / ШНП-О — in Russ.)”, modification of the Need Threat Scale, van Beest I., Williams K.D., 2006; adaptation by Boykina E., 2019;
  • “Color Test of Relations” (CTR / ЦТО — in Russ.), Etkind A.M., Bazhin E.F., 1985.
Block № 2 “Methods. Personality”:
  • “Individual Typological Children’s Questionnaire” (ITCQ / ИТДО — in Russ.), Sobchik L.N., 1996 / “Individual typological questionnaire” (ITQ / ИТО — in Russ.) Sobchik L.N., 1996 — ITCQ was used for minors under 14 years, ITQ — for minors 14—18 years old.;
  • “Tendency to Deviant Behavior” Test (TDB / СДП — in Russ.), Leus E.V., Soloviev A.G., Sidorov P.I., 2012;
  • “Ways of Coping Questionnaire” (WCQ / ОСС — in Russ.), Folkman S., Lazarus R., 1986; standardization by Wasserman L.I. et al., 2009;
  • “Test of Personal Adjustment” (TPA / СПА — in Russ.), Rogers C.R., Dymond R.F., 1954; adaptation/modification by Osnitsky A.K., 2004;
The results were carried out using the Microsoft Office Excel program and the IBM SPSS Statistical 22 Package.
According to the design of the study, the participants were divided into 4 subgroups (Profiles) according to two criteria: “ostracism” and “behavior” (Table 1).
Table 1
The Scheme of Research Subgroups (Profiles) Distribution
according to the Criteria “Ostracism”, “behavior”

 

Criterion 2 “Behavior

Prosocial

Antisocial

Criterion 1 “Ostracism

Ostracized

Profile 1.1

N=60

(26 m/34 f; Mage=14.85)

Profile 1.2

N=73

(37 m/36 f; Mage=14.87)

Not ostracized

Profile 2.1

N=82

(25 m/57 f; Mage=16.06)

Profile 2.2

N=56

(35 m/21 f; Mage=14.41)

To assign a research participant to a research Profile according to the criterion “ostracism”, the following methods were used: expert assessment method (biographical information — re-return from the foster family, rejection by peers, relatives, stigmatization based on gender, external characteristics, nationality, etc.), OES-A, STN-O, CTR; to the criterion “behavior” — expert assessment method (biographical information — recorded offenses, (suspended) criminal record, etc.), TDB.
The main group of the study was Profile 1.2, the control comparison group was Profile 2.1, and the additional comparison groups were Profile 1.1, and Profile 2.2 (Table 1). Comparisons were also carried out according to the criteria “ostracism” (Profiles 1.1 and 1.2 were compared with Profiles 2.1 and 2.2) and “behavior” (Profiles 1.2, 2.2 were compared with Profiles 1.1, 2.1).
To achieve the purpose of the research two hypotheses were studied.
Hypothesis 1
In a number of works, researchers of social ostracism write about the existence of a connection between threatened needs clusters and the choice of an anti- or prosocial way of responding to social ostracism. These studies, as a rule, were conducted on a sample of adults (mainly university students), as well as in the context of studying the mechanism of influence of short-term social ostracism [17; 24]. In the description of the Temporal Need-Threat Model, Williams K.D. points out that “the pro- or antisocial response tendency may also depend upon the most threatened need or need cluster ” [28, p. 444]. Developing this idea, the scientist expresses confidence that if a person’s needs for control and meaningful existence are more significantly violated, the most reliable way to restore them is antisocial behaviors, “behaviors that get control and attention from others” [ibid].
Consequently, we decided to check this statement, firstly, for the first time on a sample of citizens of the Russian Federation, secondly, with the participation of minors and, thirdly, not as part of the short-term ostracism simulating experiment, but with the use of a quasi-experimental “ex-post-facto” research plan, implying the study of the mechanisms of long-term (chronic) social ostracism. In this regard, we put forward the following hypothesis: The needs for control and meaningful existence (power and provocation cluster) by ostracized minors with antisocial behavior, in contrast to ostracized minors with prosocial behavior, are threatened significantly higher than the needs for belonging and self-esteem (inclusionary cluster).
To test this hypothesis, after distributing the sample into four Profiles, we analyze the data obtained from the results of processing the STN-O for each Profile. To test the hypothesis, we use Mann—Whitney criterion, Kruskel—Wallis criterion, Wilcoxon signed-rank test for different combinations of Profiles.
Findings (H1)
Table 2
Kruskel—Wallis Test Results of STN-O in Terms of Profiles

Subscale

Profile

N

Mean rank

Belonging

1.1

60

89,78

1.2

73

103,39

2.1

82

176,07

2.2

56

169,36

total

271

 

Self-esteem

1.1

60

81,53

1.2

73

83,16

2.1

82

197,42

2.2

56

173,29

total

271

 

Meaningful existence

1.1

60

123,03

1.2

73

69,93

2.1

82

175,01

2.2

56

178,90

total

271

 

Control

1.1

60

122,63

1.2

73

68,45

2.1

82

185,43

2.2

56

166,00

 total

271

 

 
The obtained result (Table 2) indicates the significant differences in the degree of violation of all needs depending on the Profile. The average ranks according to these subscales in non-ostracized minors (Profiles 2.1, 2.2) are higher than in ostracized (Profiles 1.1, 1.2), which indicates less impaired needs. At the same time, among the ostracized adolescents, the average rank on the “self-esteem” subscale is lower in Profile 1.1, compared with Profile 1.2, which indicates more pronounced violations of this need. For the rest of the subscales (belonging, control, meaningful existence) the opposite trend can be traced.
Below we will consider the needs of the “ostracized” subgroup in more detail (Profiles 1.1 and 1.2).
Based on the mean ranks (Tables 3, 4) we conclude that violations of the cluster’s needs for power and provocation (meaningful existence, control) are more significant in Profile 1.2.
Table 3
Mann—Whitney U Test Results of STN-O in Terms of Profile 1.1, Profile 1.2
 

Subscale

Profile

N

Mean rank

Sum of ranks

Belonging

1.1

60

61,87

3712,00

1.2

73

71,22

5199,00

total

133

 

 

Self-esteem

1.1

60

64,48

3868,50

1.2

73

69,08

5042,50

total

133

 

 

Meaningful existence

1.1

60

85,03

5101,50

1.2

73

52,18

3809,50

total

133

 

 

Control

1.1

60

85,52

5131,00

1.2

73

51,78

3780,00

total

133

 

 

 
Table 4
Wilcoxon — Mann - Whitney statistical criteria of STN-O in Terms of Profile 1.1, Profile 1.2

 

Belonging

Self-esteem

Meaningful existence

Control

U Mann-Whitney

1882,000

2038,500

1108,500

1079,000

W Wilcoxon

3712,000

3868,500

3809,500

3780,000

Z

-1,419

-,702

-4,953

-5,113

Asymptotic significance

,156

,483

,000

,000

 
These results allow us to confirm hypothesis 1 that ostracized minors with persistent antisocial behavior have the most severely impaired needs for meaningful existence and control.
Hypothesis 2
Using the “ex-post-facto” research plan, it is difficult to study the role of external factors of influence on ostracized individuals due to the fact that the study is conducted after the impact. However, the influence of the conditions, circumstances, and environment in which the formation of the minor takes place can be investigated, in our opinion, indirectly: through the study of formed (or still forming) coping mechanisms and coping strategies with stressful and problematic situations. In addition to this, as to the theoretical body of research, the formation of a pro- or anti-social behavior patterns is mediated, among other things, through the use of certain adaptation strategies of the individual, features of socio-psychological adaptation, and related personality traits [12; 15; 18; 22; 30].
In this regard, we hypothesize (H2) that for ostracized minors with antisocial behavior the structure of connections between threatened needs, strategies of coping with stress behavior, types of deviant behavior, and parameters of socio-psychological adaptation significantly differs from other comparison groups.
In order to investigate this hypothesis, we examine the diagnostic data of all methods (40 subscales) with the exception of the CTR method. To test this hypothesis, we use the Spearman’s rank correlation method.
For a more complete analysis of the presence or absence of correlations according to the subscales of the research methods in Profiles 1.2 and 2.2, we considered it logically appropriate first to investigate the subgroups of “ostracized minors” (Profiles 1.1 and 1.2) and “non-ostracized minors” (Profiles 2.1 and 2.2). After that, we will compare the correlation pleiades of Profiles 1.2 and Profile 2.2, and in conclusion, the correlations according to the subscales of ITCQ, ITQ methods for these profiles.
When constructing a matrix of correlations of parameters, a large number of weak (p≤0,05) and strong (p≤0,01) correlations were obtained using Spearman techniques in different Profiles and their combinations in the study. Therefore, in order to obtain a significant result when evaluating correlations in this study, we set various threshold values of the correlation coefficient t.
Findings (H2)
When analyzing the results of the subgroups “ostracized minors” (Profiles 1.1 and 1.2) and “non-ostracized minors” (Profiles 2.1 and 2.2), we set the value t=0,7. In this case, only the highest correlation indicators (p≤0,01) are included in the correlation pleiades. The results are the following. In the subgroup “ostracized minors” (Profiles 1.1 and 1.2) we recorded two strong correlations. The core of the pleiades presented in Fig. 1 is the subscale “Aggressive behavior. TDB”, having a direct strong (p≤0,01) correlation with subscales of the same method, namely “Self-harm behavior. TDB” (0,715) and “Delinquent behavior. TDB” (0,793).
We can assume that the link between aggressive and self-harming behavior may be mediated by a special script recovery needs to control that is stronger threatened in the group of ostracised minors than in the group of not ostracized ones (Table 4). As practice shows, people with antisocial behavior often use autodestruction as protest activities as a way to regain control over the situation: imprisoned cut themselves, adolescents with different types of antisocial behaviors expose themselves to scarring, declare a hunger strike, ostentatiously cut veins, etc.
In our opinion, despite the simplicity and unambiguity of the revealed strong correlations in the “ostracized” subgroup (Fig. 1), — the strong direct connection of the “Aggressive behavior. TDB” subscale with subscales “Self-harm behavior. TDB” (0,715) and “Delinquent behavior. TDB” (0,793), — gives us an understanding that a child experiencing the negative impact of chronic social ostracism, in case of escalation of aggressive and delinquent behavior (antisocial behavior) with a high degree of probability can overcome the barrier of self-preservation and either harm only his/her own life and health, or (as a possible last resort) commit suicide by combining it with the murder of others.
This scenario can be considered in the escalation of the conflict approach (here we mean the conflict of the individual with society or perhaps intrapersonal conflict). As the conflict escalates, the strategy of its resolution also changes: from the possibility of its compromise settlement to the stage of complete self-destruction of the parties, often metaphorically referred to as “together into the abyss”. The main conclusion that can be drawn from the analysis of the correlation pleiad (Fig. 1) is the following: the higher the level of aggression and a tendency to delinquent behaviour of an ostracized minor (both with antisocial and prosocial behavior) is (both with antisocial and prosocial behavior), the higher the probability of his/her self-harm, death. In other words, perhaps this is one of the mechanisms of extended criminal suicide (the behavior of a suicide bomber, for example).
Fig. 1. Correlation pleiad of Profiles 1.1 and 1.2 (ostracized) at the threshold t=0,7
Fig. 2. Correlation pleiad of Profiles 2.1 and 2.2 (non-ostracized) at the threshold t=0,7
Correlation pleiades of Profile 1.2 (ostracized with antisocial behavior) presented in Fig. 3 demonstrate the presence of strong connections (p≤0,01) at the threshold t = 0,5 (Table 3). The available connections are distributed according to three methods (TDB, WCQ, TPA). Connections according to the methods of OES-A, STN-O, ITQ/ITCQ above the threshold value t = 0,5 were not detected. As in the general subgroup of ostracized minors (Fig. 1), a strong correlation was identified in these pleiades according to the TDB method.
All the conclusions made on correlations and described in Fig. 1 are valid for part of the correlation pleiad (according to TDB method) and in Profile 1.2 (Fig. 3).
As a way of interacting with a problematic (stressful) or crisis situation, ostracized minors have developed coping of an avoidant type. In this regard, we see a strong connection between distancing and escape/avoidance (0,708). The escape/avoidance strategy assumes a scenario of overcoming life’s difficulties through evasion (fantasizing, denying the problem, switching, etc.).
Fig. 3. Correlation pleiades of Profile 1.2, grouping by methods OES-A, STN-O, TDB, WCQ, TPA, ITQ, ITCQ at the threshold t= 0,5
However, as the WCQ authors point out “to reduce painful emotional discomfort in stressful situations non-constructive forms of avoidance behavior can be observed: a denial or complete disregard for the problems, evasion of responsibility and actions to resolve difficulties, passivity, impatience, flash irritation, dive into fantasy, overeating, drinking alcohol, etc.” [26]. In relation to Profile 1.2, we found a strong correlation between the strategy of escape/avoidance with taking responsibility (0,599). As a result, we come to the conclusion that ostracized adolescents with antisocial behavior prefer to avoid solving problems and evade responsibility.
However, taking into account the links between such coping strategies as “distancing”, “escape/avoidance” and “taking responsibility”, minors from Profile 1.2 evade responsibility (Fig. 3). This allows us to draw a logical conclusion that such a strategy as “problem-solving planning” is not used or rarely used. In this regard, the revealed correlation can be interpreted in an inverted format: the less often a minor plans to solve a problem situation, the less often he subjects himself into a positive reassessment.
In accordance with the correlation pleiad in Fig. 3, we also see that the maladaptation processes of minors entering the Profile 1.2, linearly and significantly (p≤0,01) are associated with a decrease in the need for such adolescents to communicate and interact with society and the degree of dissatisfaction with their personal traits: the stronger the maladaptation, the stronger the rejection of others (0,503), which further correlates with a decrease in self-acceptance (-0,618). Further, like a vicious circle, dissatisfaction with oneself (self-rejection) is directly related to the rejection of others (0,571). Then the more an ostracized teenager with antisocial behavior implements the scenario of maladaptation interaction with society, the more intense uncertainty, and emotional discomfort he/she experiences (0,514).
Compared to Profile 1.2. the Spearman’s correlation pleiades for Profile 2.2 (Fig. 4) are represented by a different and wider range of connections.
Fig. 4. Correlation pleiades of Profile 2.2, grouping by methods OES-A, STN-O, TDB, WCQ, TPA, ITQ, ITCQ at the threshold t= 0,5
* Note: the subscales of the STN-O (needs) have the opposite orientation from the rest of the methods during processing (the lower the indicator, the more the need is violated), therefore, when interpreting the connections of these subscales, the polarity of the connection changes to the opposite.
Let’s focus on the most interesting blocks of the pleiades, on the adaptive mechanisms of a non-ostracized minor with antisocial behavior (Fig. 4). Comparing the blocks of correlations by subscales “Adaptivity. TPA” and “Maladaptivity. TPA”, we see the general mechanisms of these processes for the Profile 2.2. We found the dependence of the process of adaptation and maladaptation on the factor of self-acceptance: the higher the self-acceptance (this is both the level of self-esteem and self-satisfaction in general), the higher the adaptability (i.e., the optimal level of adaptation of a minor to the norms and rules accepted in his/her society) (0,548).
The correlations found in the study on the ITQ/ITCQ subscales do not exceed the threshold value of the correlation coefficient t= 0,3 and have no correlations with the subscales of other methods.
 
Fig. 5. Correlation pleiades of Profile 1.2, grouping by methods ITQ, ITCQ at the threshold t= 0,3
Fig. 6. Correlation pleiades of Profile 2.2, grouping by methods ITQ, ITCQ at the threshold t= 0,3
Note: The subscales of the method are depicted in accordance with their location on the ITQ/ITCQ psychogram (L.N. Sobchik) [22].
The correlation between “introversion” and “sensitivity” (p<0,01) tells us about such a style of the interaction of ostracized minors with experience of antisocial behavior as addiction (Fig. 5). As it was stated above, the ostracized are often more strongly influenced, and more suggestible. The obtained correlation results confirm these conclusions for ostracized minors with antisocial behavior. A significant relationship was also found between “spontaneity” and “ aggressiveness”. The connection of these leading trends forms such a derivative property as “nonconformity”. According to the definition of the author of the ITO/ITDO methodology L.N. Sobchik, nonconformity is a tendency to reject generally accepted canons and outdated dogmas, a companion of radicalism and progress, which, with a low level of development or pathology, leads to antisocial forms of behavior [22].
The analysis of the correlation pleiad for a non-ostracized minor with antisocial behavior allows us to distinguish two groups of correlations with contradictory characteristics (Fig. 6). The first group includes correlation blocks located at different poles of the psychogram. In accordance with the theory of L.N. Sobchik, the synthesis of two leading trends represents a number of intermediate characteristics and forms certain derivative properties.
Thus, we have recorded connections at the upper pole of the psychogram: between “sensitivity” and “anxiety” (0,618), and between “anxiety” and “emotivity” (0,457). In the first case, we can talk about “conformity”. In the second — about “compromise”, understood as “the simultaneous desire for self-affirmation and avoidance of conflict with the reference group” [22]. Opposite derivative properties are located at the lower pole: the conflicting and non-conformal style of behavior (connection of the subscale “Aggressiveness. ITQ” and “Rigidity. ITQ” (0,509), “Spontaneity. ITQ” and “Aggressiveness. ITQ” (0,468). We can explain the presence of two opposite groups of correlations by the influence of the gender factor on the formation of individual and personal properties of non-ostracized minors with antisocial behavior. According to L.N. Sobchik’s research, spontaneous, aggressive, and rigid types of reaction (the lower pole), which are based on such characteristics of the nervous system as excitability, impulsivity, and stiffness of the nervous system, are more often observed among men. In the upper pole, where the sensitive, anxious, and emotive types are located, reactions based on inhibited and labile properties of the nervous system are more common among women.
No less important result, which we obtained in groups of ostracized and non-ostracized minors, is a clear difference in the number of correlations links. When comparing the Fig. 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6, it is clearly seen there are fewer connections in the ostracized subgroups than in the non-ostracized.
Discussion
The study confirmed the hypothesis: the control and meaningful existence needs (power and provocation cluster) in ostracized minors with antisocial behavior (Profile 1.2) in contrast to ostracized with prosocial behavior (Profile 1.1) were significantly threatened than the belonging and self-esteem needs (inclusive cluster).
In this study we also confirmed another hypothesis: for ostracized minors with antisocial behavior, the structure of connections between threatened needs, strategies of coping with stress behavior, types of deviant behavior, and parameters of socio-psychological adaptation significantly differs from other comparison groups.
In the general group of ostracized minors (both with antisocial and prosocial behavior) the following distinctive features and characteristics are highlighted: strong direct correlations (p<0,01) of propensity to aggressive behavior and self-injurious behavior, as well as direct linear relationships between the propensity to aggressive behavior, delinquent behavior.
For the subgroup of ostracized minors with antisocial behavior, we have fixed the following features. Paradoxically, not all the needs (belonging, self-esteem, control, meaningful existence) have a correlation in this Profile with the sub-constructs of social ostracism. For this subgroup, there was found only one correlation with the adaptation strategy (self-acceptance). For example, there are at least four such connections in the subgroups “not ostracized with antisocial behavior”. Only in Profile 1.2 we found the lowest number of correlations between the studied parameters: in other Profiles, the correlation links are more saturated and complex.
Conclusion
The study revealed the relationship between social ostracism, aggression, and autodestructive behavior for the entire sample of ostracized minors with both antisocial and prosocial behavior. Taking into account the obtained results (Fig. 1), we can predict with a high degree of probability in ostracized minors: with an increase in aggression level (or escalation of violent crimes to illegal acts), an increase in the propensity for autodestruction. Such a connection can act as a mechanism for extremist excesses (for example, extended suicide or planning an attack, a terrorist act followed by suicide). Unlike the subgroup “not-ostracized” (Fig. 2), even in adolescents with antisocial behavior, such connections are undetected. So, it can be assumed that other mechanisms are at the heart of aggressive excesses with a self-injurious component among non-ostracized minors.
The main conclusion based on the results of empirical research is the following: if in the process of chronic ostracization of a minor, the satisfaction of fundamental needs for control over the outside world and the meaning of existence is at a low level, such a child or teenager uses a maladaptive style of interaction with the outside world to satisfy him. At the same time, an increase in the level of aggression (or an increase in the severity of the offense) mediates an increase in the danger of self-destruction of such a minor, ranging from substance use to extended criminal suicide. Our study proves that in the process of prolonged exposure to social ostracism, mediating the formation of patterns of antisocial behavior, a minor refuse to attempt to reintegrate prosocially into society, his psychological resources are depleted, avoidance and distancing become preferred coping strategies.
In the concept of the K.D. Williams’ ostracism model [27], the described state corresponds to the third stage of the ostracization process, the stage of resignation, compared with the postulates of M. Seligman’s theory of learned helplessness [20]. Taking into account the obtained data (in particular, on the decrease in the level of satisfaction of the need for control) and M. Seligman’s conclusions that the learned helplessness is caused not by unpleasant circumstances themselves, but by the experience of uncontrollability of overcoming them, we believe that the most effective technology for the rehabilitation of minors with antisocial behavior and the experience of chronic ostracization can be events, programs that enable such a child or teenager to regain control of his life within the framework of a prosocial response.
Taking into account the conclusions of the study on the low psychological resource capacity of a minor with antisocial behavior who has experienced long-term ostracism, we conclude that as part of preventive work on behavior correction, the inclusion of third parties is required, since without external support such a minor cannot (there are no internal strong resources) get out of his/her current state.

Limitations and Future Research

Confirmation of the study hypothesis on the connection of threatened needs in meaningful existence and control of antisocial behavior of minors with experience of long-term social ostracism provides researchers with a rich field for studying methods and techniques for restoring data of violated needs of minors and broad prospects for building rehabilitation programs after the negative impact of social ostracism.

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Information About the Authors

Ekaterina E. Boykina, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Legal Psychology and Law, Faculty of Legal Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2707-3969, e-mail: katarinatapfer@gmail.com

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