Psychosemantic Approach to Assessing Difficult Life Situations (on the Pattern of the Situation Related to the Disease That Threatens a Child’s Life)



Th e article deals with the notion of a diffi cult life situation and its subjective characteristics. Using apsychosemantic approach, the authors have created a methodology — the Life Situations Semantic Diff erential. With a help of this technique semantic units were identifi ed in the perception of the life situation of close relatives of seriously ill children. Th e sample included 81 individuals (adults aged 20 to 60 years). Semantic units were grouped around such parameters of situation perception as 1) the level of stress; 2) assessment of their own psychological resources; 3) the certainty-uncertainty of situation; 4) strength and energy; 5) a sense of resolvability of the situation and 6) involvement and signifi cance

General Information

Keywords: difficult life situation, semantic units, coping behavior, subjective situation image, psychosemantic approach, factor analysis

Journal rubric: General Psychology, Personality Psychology, History of Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Alexandrova O.V., Dermanova I.B. Psychosemantic Approach to Assessing Difficult Life Situations (on the Pattern of the Situation Related to the Disease That Threatens a Child’s Life). Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2016. no. 4, pp. 40–50. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Olga V. Alexandrova, PhD in Psychology, Psychology, Division of Palliative Care, Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization “Childrens Hospice”, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:

Irina B. Dermanova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology of Development and Differential Psychology, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail: