Social Adaptation of Orphans and Children left without Parental Care in Substitute Families



The article presents the analyses the «Monitoring results of the subjective well-being of children-in-care» in terms of social adaptation in substitute families (2019). Orphans brought up in foster families are characterized by implicit problems affecting social and school adaptation. Many of them have a long experience of living in a dysfunctional family, in conditions of institutionalization, separation from their parents and untreated psychological trauma. Family upbringing significantly mitigates the effects of mental deprivation, but a number of its consequences affect social and school adaptation. Two research methods were used in the study: a short screening questionnaire (SST) to assess behavior in children and adolescents from 3 to 16 years old (the sample consisted of 340 foster children and 285 substitute parents) and a multidimensional scale of satisfaction with life at school (the sample consisted of 160 junior students, 230 senior students). The questionnaire includes an assessment of the psychological properties of a teenager, both positive and negative and an assessment of the impact of the existing problems of a teenager on different aspects of his social life. The assessment of foster children themselves and parents in relation to borderline cases differ. The Multidimensional Life Satisfaction Scale is a questionnaire designed to assess the life satisfaction of schoolchildren. A high level of satisfaction is characteristic of relationships in foster parents’ families, and satisfaction with relationships with friends remains constant. In high school, emotional abuse in the form of neglect has significantly decreased — only 28% become victims and only 36% of foster children experience physical violence in the form of blows. It is stated that with the help of a questionnaire and data analysis, the upward trend from elementary school students to high school students has a “sense of security” (from 61% to 70%). The youngest students and older teenagers are the least satisfied with school and relationships with teachers. The conducted research makes it possible to determine the targets of assistance and support to substitute families by specialists of support services. For teachers-psychologists, data on school satisfaction and relationships with teachers should be an important signal about the problems of foster children in an educational institution.

General Information

Keywords: orphans, children-in-care, social adaptation, monitoring, substitute families

Journal rubric: Social Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Acknowledgements. The author are grateful the Department of State Policy in the Field of Protection of Children’s Rights of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation for providing monitoring data the support of the Fundamental Research Program of the National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE) and Doctor of Psychological Sciences G.V. Semya.


For citation: Telitsyna A.Yu. Social Adaptation of Orphans and Children left without Parental Care in Substitute Families [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sotsial’nye nauki i detstvo = Social Sciences and Childhood, 2021. Vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 84–95. DOI: 10.17759/ssc.2021020207. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Aleksandra Y. Telitsyna, PhD in Biology, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Nonprofit Sector, Associate Professor, School of Politics and Governance, Faculty of Social Sciences, HSE University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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