Features of the Current State of Students in Regions with High Involvement in the Consequences of Hostilities

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Abstract

Objective. The study is aimed on estimation of students’ current state in regions with high degrees of involvement in the consequences of hostilities.

Context and relevance. Research data, mainly foreign ones, indicate a high prevalence of violations of various degrees of severity, from mild adaptation disorders to symptoms of PTSD, in children either living in military conflict zones or having experience related to their involvement into consequences of hostilities. Such children have a great need for targeted psychological assistance. There are still a gap in domestic studies devoted to the analysis of the impact of involvement into consequences of hostilities on children of different age groups. Also, specialists are still experiencing deficits in compact tools allowing comprehensive assessment of children current state and their need for psychological assistance.

Study design. We studied features of the students’ current state in regions highly involved into the consequences of hostilities. using specially developed screening tools, in two versions: for students of 5–8 and 9–11 grades, respectively.

Participants. 646 students in grades 9–11 (36% male, 64% female) and 829 students in grades 5-8 (43% male, 57 % female), living in regions experiencing the impact of events related to hostilities, mainly from Lugansk People’s Republic.

Methods (tools). The study is based on a questionnaire developed to assess the current state of the children including items assessing a) manifestations of socio-psychological and mental maladaptation in various spheres of life, b) symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, c) psychological (personal and social) resources for coping with stress. This part of questionnaire includes lists if features among which student must choose those which fit his/her current state on the base of multiple choice. The questionnaire also contains items assessing the subjective well-being of children in life areas mentioned above by the 10-point Likert scale. The questionnaires were presented electronically, using the AnketologBox platform. Results were analyzed using IBM SPSS 27.0.

Results. Results were obtained regarding the prevalence and severity of signs of socio-psychological maladaptation, including PTSD symptoms, and subjective estimation of well-being and psychological resources for coping with stress in students of 5–8 and 9–11 grades. Significant differences were found between students according to the criterion of gender (in the group of students in grades 9–11) and age (in the group of students in grades 5–8), namely: 1) the tendency to decrease the level of well-being in these areas with age in secondary school (grades 5-8) and 2) a significantly higher level of vulnerability of girls compared to boys in the psychophysiological, emotional, behavioral spheres, as well as in relationships with loved ones (grades 9–11).

Key findings. The data analysis allowed us to identify the main features of the current state of students in the regions highly involved in the consequences of hostilities: the presence of severe distress in some children in the psychophysiological, cognitive, emotional, communicative and behavioral spheres, the tendency to decrease the level of well-being in these areas with age in secondary school students, the existence of special risk groups, which include female students of 9–11grades. The proposed diagnostic tool appeared to be sensitive to phenomena under study varying from psychological resources of coping with stress to signs of maladaptation in students living in territories involved into the consequences of hostilities.

General Information

Keywords: students; maladaptation; disorders; psychological resources; symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); coping with stress; subjective well-being, hostilities

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/sps.2024000001

Funding. The study was carried out with financial support of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, state assignment No. 073-00038-23-04 dated April 26, 2023.073-00038-23-04:“Scientific-methodological development of the comprehensive program of psycho-pedagogical support and rehabilitation of children”.

Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful for assistance in data collection end questionnaire development to colleagues from Federal Coordinational Center: Ermolaeva A.V., Dmitrieva N.N., Volkov D.S. Radchenko V.V., Shipilova A.A., Oganina M.O., Comolova O.C. to Baraban E.V., Head of the State Institution "Republican Psychological, Medical and Pedagogical Commission," Chief freelance teacher-psychologist of the LPR.

Received: 02.10.2023

For citation: Ulyanina O.A., Aleksandrova L.A., Dmitrieva S.O. Features of the Current State of Students in Regions with High Involvement in the Consequences of Hostilities. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, DOI: 10.17759/sps.2024000001. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Olga A. Ulyanina, Doctor of Psychology, associate Professor, Head of the Federal Coordination Center for the Provision of Psychological Services in the Education System of the Russian Federation, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Chief Researcher of the Research Center, Academy of Management of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9300-4825, e-mail: ulyaninaoa@mgppu.ru

Lada A. Aleksandrova, PhD in Psychology, Leading Researcher, Laboratory of Personality Development Problems of People with Disabilities, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3539-8058, e-mail: ladaleksandrova@mail.ru

Svetlana O. Dmitrieva, PhD in Art History, Leading Analyst of the Federal Coordination Center for Provision of Psychological Services in Education System of Russia, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Associate Professor, Dubna State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0000-1012-5948, e-mail: dmitrievaso@mgppu.ru

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