Indicators Of Children`S World Images And Different Generations Parents With Peculiar Relationships


There is a problem of the transfer of experience of the older generation to the younger one. The question is: what features are common and different in the mentality of the generations of parents and children. The typology of the Russian generations is presented: there are traditional, transitional, information and new generations who have their own specific historical events of life and the type of mentality. According to the scientists the new generation is characterized by living in a networked reality, video thinking, increased anxiety and responsibility and the desire for comfort. The subjects under study have been parents (N=70) and children, visiting kindergarten (N=35). The following methods are used: the gauge of the mentality of generations, the method of identification of a value conditionality of social identification, the projective method "World picture" and the questionnaire of parental relations to children. It is found out that the parents identify themselves with transitional generation, the generation of transitional and innovation mentality and with media generation, the generation of innovation mentality. The parents of transitional generation show "an authoritarian hypersocialization" in their attitude to the children. In most cases, the parents of information generation show "a cooperative attitude to the child." The image of the parent’s world of transitional generations shows the most characteristic differences in terms of the orientation (collectivism–individualism). The children of the parents of information generation show such indicators of the world image as simplicity, individualism, dynamics, personalization, specificity and irrationality.

Keywords: The world picturementalitythe type of generationthe attitude of parents to children


The leading features of the modern world are the transitivity of social processes, heterogeneity and heterochrony of self-determination ways, mobility and permeability of borders, contradictions of globalization and displacement and mixing of values. This situation complicates the process of upbringing and development of preschool children, because the parents are disoriented about how and in what ways to educate their children. Parents must make a choice whether to educate their children as strong, confident, successful and mobile personalities or as kind, doubting, adhering-to-traditions and constant people. Preschools operate according to the state standard based on traditions and national-cultural ideas. However, there is a contradiction consisting in the fact that the tradition is lost in society in most cases. The generation of traditional mentality does not always find adherents, and the national unity is eroded by migration flows. And, programs of education and training for a new generation are built on tradition and uniformity. The educational system tries to keep the tradition, but with the help of new digital technologies.

Problem Statement

In the study by Barni, Knafo, Ben-Arieh, Muhammad and Haj-Yahina (2014), it is shown that normative socio-cultural influence can lead to similarity in the values of parents and children in the family processes. And the uniformity of contexts has a great influence. In the study by Huang, Ching-Yu and Lamb (2014), the results show that English mothers use a less negative control and are more responsive than Chinese immigrant mothers, and that English mothers also have a more positive impact than Chinese mothers-immigrants and Taiwanese mothers. Taiwanese children pay more attention to situations than Chinese immigrant children, while there are no significant cultural differences in a loyal keeping of norms and oppositional behavior. Today we observe the interruption of intergenerational ties, but this is difficult to distinguish. Guseltseva (2017) notes that the leading factors of methodological risk in interpreting identity problems in a transitive society are the lability and antinomy of the value system, and the fact that more expressed trends obscure latent and ambiguous trends in the eyes of the observer. The relevance determines the purpose of our study - to compare the image of the world in the mentality of parents and their children.

The concept of generations

We define generation as a community of representatives, born in the certain period and combined by experiencing specific historical events (the context of life), and bearers of mentality type (Pischik, 2014). In our work, we have construct the typology of the Russian generations (Table 01 ).

Table 1 -
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The representatives of the listed generations often associated themselves with these historic events, and they have different types of mentality. In our socio-cultural concept of the transformation of the generations’ mentality, we identify four types of mentality: traditional, transitional, innovative and post-innovative. The movement of mentality transformation comes from tradition and a sustainable and little changed education to innovations, which represent a break with tradition in relationships.

Generation Z

Today, the representatives of the new generation come out onto the public podium, born in and after 2000. Some of them are still in the kindergartens, and others are at school. According to the classification of Howe & Strauss (1991), this is "generation Z". In various countries one of the most striking characteristics of this generation is the knowledge of computer technology in early childhood (Frumkin, 2010) and manifestation of video thinking (Azarenok, 2009). It determines their view of the world, which is reminiscent of folded puzzles, decomposable into various variations. They understand better in gadgets and technology than in people's emotions. Generation Z is focused on cooperation, leadership, and rapid switching of strategies, developed by network computer games. They are characterized by high demands on the level of comfort and material security. Parents instill traditional values in them – resilience, work ethics and social justice (Kalb, 2009). They are sensitive to the perception of responsibility and able to perform responsible tasks, significant for all (Dementiy & Grogoleva, 2016). It is shown that girls at preschool age display prosocial behavior more often than boys (Al-Thani & Semma, 2017). Because of the increasing social fears in society, children of the new generation are hyperpatronized. They are taught not to talk to strangers and how to turn to the police officer. Family is of a great value for them: it is the only thing that is safe (Prensky, 2001). The lack of communication with the outside world is often compensated by the attention to the own inner world, and the new generation is likely to be interested in art and science. The main motivation of the generation is interest. They study in clubs or with private tutors. They master grammar, writing and counting very early. The lack of boredom and exciting challenges is a part of the comfort state of the generation. They love learning, but only if it entertains and develops them. They perceive all the information much easier in the form of pictures, video, than in the form of the printed text. However, there is a decrease in the health of children and increase of mental disorders. It is connected with the destruction of family relationships (Shabas, 2016).

Research Questions

It is important for us to understand what type of mentality forms in the modern new generation at pre-school age? We also assume that the type of mentality of parents will be passed on to children, by analogy, as teachers do.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to establish the similarity of the image of the world of children and their parents.

Research Methods

Subjects (cases)

To confirm the assumptions, we have interviewed parents (N=70) and watched the activity of children (6-7 years old, N=35) in a kindergarten in Rostov-on-Don. We consider children’s parents to be bearers of a certain type of mentality. The parents of the children are referred to two generations: transitional one (1965-1982), the bearers of traditional and transitional mentality, and information generation (1983-1999), the bearers of innovative mentality.


At the first stage of the study, we identified a generational identity of the parents of children using the author's questionnaire. At the second stage we measured the type of mentality of parents, using the measurement procedure of the mentality of generations (Pischik, 2015). We also used the method identifying the values of conditionality of social identification (Sikevich, 2005) to determine the prevailing qualities of the generation, identified the components of the world image of the parents by means of the projective technique "World picture" (Romanova, 2002) and used a questionnaire of parental attitudes to children (Warga & Stolin, 2001). At the third stage we identified components of the world image of the children with the help of projective technique "World picture» (Romanova, 2002).


In Table 02 there are average tendencies reflecting the features of identification with a particular generation in the studied groups.

Table 2 -
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Further, we used the method "World picture". We assumed that the images of the parents world could have features of the innovative mentality which can be characterized by the following parameters: individualism, rationality, dynamism, complexity, and abstractness. Each parameter was measured by a five-point scale. We processed the obtained data by the factorial analysis method in the software package SPSS-Statistics 19. According to the obtained factorial matrix, which consisted of 10 indicators of the world image we analyzed the value of the contribution of each factor to the total variance for the groups of men and women separately for the post-Soviet, transitional and Soviet generations. In the group of transitional generations (of women) it was revealed that the contribution of the two factors is 91%. After the rotation of the factor matrix by the method of varimax in the group of women we got the following results: according to the greatest weight, the first factor was loaded with the scales: personalization with a weight of 0.75, collectivism with a weight of 0.67 and the specificity (– 0,72). The second factor was loaded with the scales: dynamic with a weight of 0.65, rationality (0,77) and complexity (0,52). Therefore, the projection of the world image in the group of women reflected collectivism, abstraction, dynamism, rationalism and personalization. In the group of transitional generations (of men) there were also two dominated factors. After the rotation of the factor matrix by the method of varimax in the group of men we received the following dominant factors: according to the greatest weight, the first factor was loaded with scales: abstract with a weight of 0.71 and collectivism with a weight of 0.71. This meant that individualism was dynamic (0,55). The second factor was loaded with the scale: personalization with the weight of 0,68, rationality (0,80) and complexity (0,60). As it might be seen in the group of men, the images were personalized as well as in young girls. The indicators of abstraction, dynamism and rationality coincided in the both groups. The images were dominated by individualism and no collectivism, as in the group of women.

In the group of transitional generations we discovered the most characteristic differences in terms of orientation (collectivism–individualism): women preferred collectivism, men preferred individualism. Apparently, the group of men would display coldness in relationships, individual values and break with traditions. Women were prone to conformism, to exaggerate the value of the group and to stick to traditions.

It characterized the fact that the majority of the respondents showed the following views in the world image: mutual support, openness, peacefulness, loyalty to tradition, cordiality. These qualities were replaced by the alienation and rejection of tradition. In the images of the world in the groups dynamism dominated, which confirmed the assumption for this indicator. Perhaps, this demonstrated the dynamic idea of the world, which was typical of people looking to the future. Rationality prevailed in all the groups, which was confirmed by other studies (Serkin, 2004). The results were shown in Figure 01 .

Figure 1: Diagram of the severity of the indicators of the image of the parents’ world
Diagram of the severity of the indicators of the image of the parents’ world
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Types of relations of parents with children

We used a questionnaire of parental attitude to children. It was found out that the parents of transition generation mostly showed "authoritarian hypersocialization" (35%) in the relationships with children. The parents of information generation had "cooperative attitude to the child" (40%) in most cases. The mothers and fathers showed consistency in the type of the attitude to the child. The results were shown in Table 03 .

Table 3 -
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In relation to the children we had the method of "World picture". The picture or image of the world referred to the constituents of the mentality organization. We assessed features of the world picture according to the following indicators: collectivism/individualism, the degree of the abstractness/concreteness of the images, dynamics/statics of the images, personalization/ depersonalization of the image I, the degree of rationalization/irrationalization of the images and theme of the picture and the level of simplicity/complexity. Each of the indicators was related to traditional or innovative mentality. The results were shown in Figure 02 .

Figure 2: Diagram of the severity of the indicators of the image of the children’s world
Diagram of the severity of the indicators of the image of the children’s world
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As a result, in the group of the children of the transition generation parents with traditional mentality the children revealed such indicators of world picture as the following: collectivism (p < 0.001), specificity, statics, depersonalization, rationalization and complexity (p < 0.001). In the group of the children of the transitional generation parents with transitional mentality the children revealed the following indicators: abstraction, individualism (p < 0.001), dynamics (p < 0.001), personalization, specificity and rationality (p < 0.001). In the group of the children of the information generation parents the children revealed the following characteristics: simplicity (p < 0.001), individualism (p < 0.001), dynamics, personalization, specificity and irrationality. As you could see, in most cases, the children showed indicators of the world picture of the mentality of the parents.


The modern world places high demands on education and training of the younger generation. The change of epochs leads to the change of generations. Generations as bearers of a certain type of mentality lose the traditional feature of mentality and acquire more innovative realities (rationality, indent from tradition, the impermanence of relationships and individualism of value orientations). The representatives of the new, networked generation Z have the striking features distinct from other generations (video thinking, hedonism, anxiety, propensity to comfort, etc.). Having examined a group of the parents, belonging to the transitional (X) and information (Y) generations, it reveals that they relate differently to their children. Parents of transitional generation are authoritarian, and parents of the information generation are cooperative. The image of the children world has similar with the parents’ indicators (individualism, collectivism, dynamics, complexity, specificity and rationality). It may confirm the possibility of the similarity of their type of mentality.


We express our gratitude to the staff of the kindergarten, who helped in collecting the empirical material, forming a positive attitude of the children and cooperating with parents.


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