Particularities Of Regulatory Mechanisms In Gymnasium Students


The article, "Particularities of the adaptation mechanisms for secondary school students", aims to present the problems faced by the teachers in the educational environment, as well as the ways of their prevention. The present article analyses this subject, investigates the incidence of adaptive behaviours in gymnasium students, but also the causes that trigger behavioural inadaptability, their form of manifestation, their severity and intensity. In a narrow sense, the pupil's inaction is a negative manifestation, marking an inappropriate social behaviour, a deviation from social norms and the manifestation of effective interpersonal relationships. In the educational process, teachers aim to discover themselves, to identify the structures of the ego, and to follow the way in which they influence expectations, aspirations, beliefs, needs and interests of educators, but also their emotional and behavioural level. Also, the educational path through an efficient cooperation student - teacher allows the student to identify his / her educational needs, to set his / her goals, to identify his / her priorities, and to evaluate the effects of the decisions taken. By analysing these behaviours, behavioural self-regulation can be realized by internalizing some rules and models necessary to adapt the individual to social reality and to develop the personal autonomy behaviour, but also to form a healthy lifestyle. All these desires contribute to the formation of the individual's identity and they are constantly in a construction and reorganization of experiences, necessary for the most active social adaptation and integration.

Keywords: Appropriate emotional expressioncontrol of emotionscommunication skillsorganizational capacitystudent


All human evolution, all confrontations or natural, social or financial disasters that have been generated by man, underline the idea that the individual has to adhere to rules, norms, moral or ethical principles, to develop mechanisms for adapting to social reality. From generation to generation or in any culture, rights or obligations are differentiated and not often even confront themselves, requiring rules, more general or deeper norms that negotiate conflicting states or mediate the violent conflict generated by subjectivity, pride, vanity, jealousy, and sometimes by envy and contempt. Over time, with examples of natural, social or financial disasters, society has sought to maintain geo-social balance, a balance in areas of interest, which involved the individual asking questions about how he lived, he thought, felt, act before that conflicting state, before the rules were imposed. All this challenge, this philosophy of human thinking generated by the concept of moral global identity, of aid, justice, development, poverty, responsibility, freedom or compassion, leads to the general balance of good over the evil. The approach of human evolution, of the development of society was also influenced by the complexity of the emotions of the individual, the interaction between the objective and the subjective factors, under the influence of the hormonal or neuronal systems, which generated his affective experiences, determined the cognitive processes materialized by labelling or appreciations, led to the physiological adaptations of the initial activation of the individual and generated human behaviour adapted and directed to a well-defined goal.

When considering the pupils' adaptation mechanisms, we refer to their ability to achieve fundamental beneficial changes in the personal development process with penetration at the dimensional level of the physical and social space in which they live and work. Analysed from the point of view of the social-cognitive paradigm, the concept of adaptation implies for the individual the development of regulatory strategies, the beginning of an efficient self-regulation process that aims to establish the personal goals by formulating the long-term ones achieved in a time longer but divided in short-term purposes, which represent for the pupil stages aimed to achieve long-term goals; identifying priorities that help the learner to set goals that have a greater impact on its beneficial development and which results can be addressed in a secondary action plan; planning the actions that the educator will start to achieve the set objectives and, consequently, knowledge of the positive and negative aspects deriving from the management of the time allocated to the identified priorities; identifying by the educator the difficulties encountered by the actions taken to achieve the established objectives; self-monitoring actions undertaken by the student, which is necessary in addition to the parameters set in monitoring and identifying the factors that contribute to avoiding tasks or postponing these tasks, which by effectively solving them will bring educated more to achieve goals; self-evaluation of personal skills and objective assessment of affections, helps the student to learn to identify the outcome, to anticipate it, but at the same time the results of the effects in time and space of the initiated actions, to assume the consequences of these effects on one's own person to others, understanding that the process of resolution is a continuous process, in time and space, with multiple resonances of effects on the process of inter-human relations. From this point of view, the personal control strategy adopted by the learner to maintain adaptation is influenced by the positive or negative result of the effects produced by his / her actions, the analysis and cognitive interpretation adopted by the influence of the resonance of these effects at the affective level. Specialized literature highlights that the individual's adaptation problems are influenced by his difficulty in thinking, managed emotions and adopted behaviours (Bandura, 1977, 1997; Maddux & Lewis, 1995 as cited in Dafinoiu & Boncu, 2014). Bandura (1977), through the theory of personal efficiency, refers to the expectation of results (the individual's conviction that the effects of his actions lead to a result) and the expectation of the efficiency of the individual (the confidence of the individual that he can perform the action in order to obtain the anticipated and desired outcome), which by differentiated analysis of these two expectations allow the anticipation of their different effects on actions and intentions (Bandura, 1997 as cited in Dafinoiu & Boncu, 2014, p.241). From this point of view, a low level of expectations for learners will have the effect the apparition of a sense of devaluation, ineffective, lack of motivation and, implicitly, school and social inadequacy. The theory was reviewed by the analysis of the subsequent researches, and as a motivational variable the value of the desired results was also analysed, which "highlighted the significant correlations between them and about the same power of predicting behavioural intentions" (Bandura, 1982; Maddux, Norton & Stoltenberg,1986 as cited in Dafinoiu & Boncu, 2014, p.241). Based on the effects of social-cognitive theory, Bandura (1997) predicted that personal efficiency predicted by the individual represents a complex, multidimensional cognitive structure that influences human behaviour through cognitive, emotional, motivational and selection processes. From this point of view, the personal efficiency perceived by the individual is the cognitive structure that includes: the experiences of the individual capable of learning through what he observes and interprets what he noticed; verbal persuasion that is identified as a means of informing the individual about oneself; past performance gained in individual experiences, as data and sources of information in the effective realization of activities due to the individual's capacities; physiological and emotional states: all the situations faced by a person lead to changes at the physiological level help him sum up information about his / her efficiency, it involves emotional self-regulation, so that "there are two mechanisms by which affective states influence the processes of self-regulation: the activation of emotional values of associative network of memory (affinity priming) and informative function of emotions (affect-as-information)"(Scott & Cervone, 2002 as cited in Dafinoiu & Boncu, 2014, p.246). Thus, "the first mechanism has an indirect influence on self-evaluative judgments, while the second is a direct source of information. Adopting a behavior or performing an activity that produces a negative emotional state to the individual can influence their perception of its effectiveness"(Dafinoiu & Boncu, 2014, p.246).

Problem Statement

In the general evolution of human psychological development, puberty is defined as a substation of adolescence in which the changes that will characterize adolescence are prepared with all its complexity.

Puberty is characterized by significant changes that the individual feels physically and mentally, but also through the fundamental changes that affect the cognitive, emotional development and socio-cultural development. All these changes influence globally the bio-psycho-socio-cultural structure of the preadolescent, which during its evolution under the influence of internal and external influences, natural and social, establishes causal relationships, builds its self-image and develops self-regulation mechanisms.

Researchers have identified differences in the place preadolescence has in the general structure of mental development:

1.Puberty is considered a substation of adolescence, which traces the changes that will follow in adolescence from the psychological, sexual point of view and from formal thinking (Cosmovici & Iacob, 1999, Zisulescu, 1968, p.401; Lehalle, 1988; p. 32, as cited in Cretu, 2016, pp. 239-240; Verza & Verza, 2017, p. 403; Golu, 2015).

2.Puberty is not considered a distinct stage, the age range from 10 to 14 years is subdivided in two parts: it is considered that childhood is up to 12 years and adolescence starts at 12 years. The factor pursued in this staging of psychic development is the emergence of formal thinking around the age of 12 (Cosmovici & Iacob, 1999; Osterrieth, 1976 as cited in Cretu, 2016, pp. 239-240; Verza & Verza, 2017, p.403; Golu, 2015).

3.Puberty is considered to be a self-standing stage characterized by biological maturation and the deepening of gender differences; the development of cognitive processes and the establishment in individual of the adult formal thinking plan; development of self-image and enhancing self-awareness; independence, personal autonomy are emphasized and responsibilities increase (Cosmovici & Iacob, 1999; Cretu, 2016, pp. 240; Verza & Verza, 2017, pp. 404-405; Golu, 2015).Through the dominant changes, "puberty is part of the childhood cycle and it is also a period of transition between childhood and adolescence that marks obvious tendencies toward maturity or in terms of plastic expression, pubescent has a deep foot in childhood and the other in adolescence. In the first two years, pubescent is dominated by childhood features, these existing even in next two years along with the new features that appear gradually, but insufficiently contoured to be a full teenager. Hence the justification of the name of this period by the term of preadolescence"(Verza & Verza, 2017, p.404). The biophysical development of pubescent also leaves its fingerprints in its behavioural plan. Changes in weight or height increase (changes in body proportions), as well as changes in the dynamics and maturation of their sexual life, bring changes in the cognitive development plan, but also in the mechanism of its human interrelation. Considering the changes in the psychic life, but also the physical maturity, especially the sexual development, by emphasizing the differences between genders, the stage of the pubescent by its peculiarities is in turn subdivided into three substations (Cosmovici & Iacob, 1999; Verza & Verza, 2017, pp. 407-415; Cretu, 2016, pp. 241-269; Aniţei, Chraif, Burtăverde & Mihăilă, 2016; Golu, 2015): The prepubertal substation (10-12 years): it is characterized by an increase in the physical growth and organic transformation of the individual, with particular peculiarities of differentiation accentuated for each gender, and in the secondary developmental plane are characteristics specific to the individual's sexual life, these being at this stage intensified by visible transitions of endocrine glands having a fundamental role in the physiology of pubescent`s sexuality (Verza & Verza, 2017, pp. 409-410); the stage of proper puberty (12-14 years): "the dominance of growth configuring the general physical aliasing by gender, which becomes more and more evident after this criterion" (Verza & Verza, 2017, p.411). The postpuberal stage (14-15 years): all the anatomical and psychological features of this period help the individual to make the transition to another stage of his development, the adolescence (Verza & Verza, 2017, p.412).At this stage in which the individual feels "lost and found" (Greene, 2017), in which he faces a multitude of fears, frustrations, rejections, communication and interpersonal relationships difficulties takes more powerful contact with the phenomenon of "teacher's favorite" (Boncu & Ceobanu, 2013) is a sad one, does not understand the new social configuration he faces, the aggression in the school environment and the underprivileged social environment; there are moments when feelings of dissatisfaction come into his life for the new body image he is confronting with and which can lead to food behavior disorders, but also to physical social anxiety; is the period when the expectation of the individual and the others are too high, is the beginning of a new stage with its prejudices, with expectations and school and social expectations with a high degree of commitment, responsibility and respect for values; a new way of competition and engagement in competition, in challenging new situations that require cooperation and collaboration, the assumption of the consequences for the taken actions, independence, the widening of the perspective, the adoption of alternative behaviors in conflict situations, and the pressure from the family or school is too high that the educator feels hostility, threat, leading to deviant behaviors, and sometimes looking for social support in "new friends" in delinquent groups. All of these lead to cognitive responses: attention deficit, thinking bottlenecks, pessimistic cognitions, decreased concentration ability, difficulties in situation management and decision-making, etc.; physiological reactions: pain, palpitations, recurrence of previous diseases, fatigue that may become chronic, insomnia, dizziness, abundant sweating etc.; compulsive reactions: isolation, aggressive behavior, alcohol consumption, tobacco, substances that in some students can become excessive, poor time management, etc; Emotional reactions: anxiety, depression, emotional instability, feelings of inefficiency and insecurity, irrationality, fear or contact with the "dark universe" of fears (Cosmovici & Iacob, 1999; Lemeni & Miclea, 2010; Harwood, Miller, & Vasta, 2010; Băban, 2011; Boncu & Ceobanu, 2013; Dafinoiu & Boncu, 2014; Golu, 2015; Cretu, 2016; Levine, 2016; Pânişoară, Sălăvăstru & Mitrofan, 2016,Verza & Verza, 2017; Galimard, 2017).

Research Questions

At this stage of life when the puber redefines its concept of social identity, when it is subjected to social prejudices, and the degree of compulsory social and school expectation imposes a high level of responsibility on it, the query is built:

What is the extent to which the mechanisms for developing the adaptive abilities of pupils in the gymnasium cycle and their mobilization lead to a development of the vocational identity and to an active social insertion?

Purpose of the Study

Under the influence of these "old and new conflicts" (Galimard, 2017, p.11), of a new stage of maturing and balancing of the individual, this study was proposed, which is based on the challenges of contemporary pedagogy and pedagogy for competencies (Chiș, 2002, 2005), but also on the "worries and concerns" (Albu, 2013) of the teacher to effectively manage this stage of student development, to be as creative as possible at the level of didactic strategies, to build a partnership with the family and the community, which through the adopted issue addresses the poor problems faced by the student or the educational needs and educational interests promoted. At the same time, the "worries and concerns" (Albu, 2013) of the educators are related in the didactic act to the threat of prejudices and stereotypes, of rethinking the functional strategies of student-teacher, student-student, teacher-parent relationships and the elimination of barriers and blockages of didactic communication and interpersonal relationship. It also was taken into account the need to build a creative climate at school, but also to develop at student and the educator of the sense of belonging, through the cultivation of sustainable relationships at the professional level, investing positive emotions, time, energy (teacher-teacher, student-student) all building the student formation through transformation. (Stolovitch, Keeps, & Rosenberg, 2017) and generating a state of well-being that we, whether student or teacher, want in the school.

Research Methods

This investigative approach is an exercise of good practice, to generate new models of action for the educational process in the gymnasium cycle and through its creative process adopts optimal strategies in order to improve the didactic activities and facilitates the necessary activities to promote a "school that teaches" (Senge, Cambron-McCabe, Lucas, Smith, Dutton, & Kleiner, 2016), based on the structure of institutional functionality and on the classroom, on creative and innovative educational practices, adapting the age peculiarities, specific individual characteristics of students, promoting in classroom systemic thinking, didactic communication generating constructive conversation, learning to observe the educated, in the process of teaching-learning-evaluation; the flexibility of teachers to educational reality, etc. (Senge, Cambron-McCabe, Lucas, Smith, Dutton, & Kleiner, 2016).

The purpose of the research was to analyse the landmarks that bring the direction of action of the teachers' educational guidelines into the development of adaptive abilities in the students of the gymnasium cycle.

Research objectives:

  • Radiography of the actual state of fact regarding the ability of self-knowledge of students, especially adaptive abilities, as a priority condition in school orientation and active social integration;

  • Highlighting the possible solutions advanced by the teachers to problematic situations of interaction and adaptability in the school environment

In a synthetic manner, the general hypothesis can be as follows:

Research hypothesis:

Achieving the necessary resources to develop adaptive skills and exercising the mobilization of these resources determines the positive reaction to active social inclusion.

For the successful investigative approach, the sampling operation of the target population was imposed, so the investigated group was composed of 40 subjects, based on the simple random sampling procedure, pre-university education teachers, direct actors of the educational action. These teachers have come from eight institutions and their related structures with a cultural diversity of the school population.

In the description of the sample of subjects was followed: initial training and continuous training, psycho-pedagogical training programs, seniority in the education system and the age of specialty registered in the system, length of service assigned to the institution in which he / she is the holder; the didactic degree obtained. In accordance with the objectives of the research, the working methods and tools were delineated to ensure the sustainability of the observational research, the subjects were asked to answer the questions in the questionnaire in the time they could manage; as alternative method was used the technique the semi-standardized and non-standardized interview, on the basis of which were aimed to be obtained various teachers' opinions and suggestions were sought from the teachers, followed their expectations regarding the issues addressed. In the experimental research, were taken into account the method of research curricular documents and other school documents, but also the tools and methods of research used to collect the data, whose analysis should verify the hypothesis.


By referring to the data obtained from the interviewees, the outcomes of the research were outlined, on the basis of which the conclusions of the research were drawn. The aim of the intervention was achieved and the analysis and interpretation of the results opened new directions of action in the design of an educational program specific to the particularities and characteristics of the students in the gymnasium cycle but also to the problems they face in defining their personal identity, meeting the needs and expectations proposed, promoting a healthy lifestyle, based on rules, built from responsible, flexible, sustainable social roles within family-school-community relationships, based on attachment and values by assuming responsibilities (Cuc, 2012a, 2012b, 2013, 2014b, 2015). The research objectives were correlated with the general hypothesis, which was confirmed, ensuring consistency and validity of the study undertaken.

The targeted research aimed to find the increasing willingness of the interviewees to get involved favourable in the educational situations that admit interpersonal communication and relationship by increasing the efficiency of interpersonal communication by designing educational approaches that aimed the training needs of the educational beneficiaries: self-knowledge and personal development, emotion management, the importance of self-control, self-control techniques, communication and social skills, but they also pursued the valorisation of the educational reality faced by teachers. A percentage of 80% of the respondents claimed that they are concerned in the didactic activity with the capitalization of the appropriate emotional expression, emotion control, communication skills, organizational and learning ability in students in the educational activities, while a percentage of 60% of the subjects supported the practice of "educational responsiveness" at these hours, where educators face the needs and difficulties of students for whom they cannot find the most appropriate solutions. Also, 67.5% of the teachers claimed that the Romanian society faces the diversified problem that affects the harmonious development of the pupils: poverty, the migration of parents or a member of the family, which led to broken families, the poor health of some students, the poor infrastructure in the disadvantaged areas that affects the school population, the tendency to isolate the students, the effects of Internet addiction (Albulescu, 2003; Cuc, 2014a), the interconnection of loneliness with the Internet dependence of students who feel a lower degree of control in online interactions in comparison with face to face social interpersonal relation (Boncu & Ceobanu, 2013). The same percentage also highlights the potentially clinging factors of the bioadaptive mechanisms of students: negative self-attitudes, generated by students from cognitive distortions, the behaviours of others, and the personal way of thinking about one's own person; labelling others and pejorative labels at their own address, self-blaming for personal misfortunes or migrating parents to ensure a better life for the child, developing negative emotions or expressing inappropriate emotions in the educational or community environment; overgeneration is another factor that blocks in students personal development, effective management of adaptive skills, and limits the student`s alternatives to new, challenging learning situations and also the active integration into the educational and social environment. Answers provided by respondents in the written questionnaire survey and interview survey provided data and information about the difficulties faced by students in developing self-esteem: a percentage of 45% analyses in educational work alternative ways of designing educational situations in class to help raise the self-esteem of students involved in risk situations and risk behaviours, family aggression, alcohol consumption, unhealthy interpersonal relationships, based on emotional and physical abuse; 70% of respondents raised the issue of the barriers that pupils encounter in targeting and managing objectives: insufficient specialist knowledge to provide school performance, poor management of learning, which also entails fear of school failure, graduation or school abandonment, also poor management of time by giving a large number of hours to online social networking , so that due to lack of supervision of an adult, the child is at risk, social anxiety develops and in some cases the vulnerability to the phenomenon of cyberbullying appears, which culminated with the drastic decision of parents to transfer the student from the school to put an end to online harassment where he was subjected. All this degenerates, according to the teachers, due to the lack of monitoring of students' conversations by parents, and the lack of media literacy in pupils, which in some cases may undermine the student's interest in school (Albulescu, 2003).

As solutions promoted by teachers are activities that develop alternative behaviours, integration and collaboration activities among pupils, promotion of some strategies of constructive approach of conflicts between pupils or pupil-teacher: by actively listening to the dialogue partner, assertive communication, empathy, mediation, humour, delegating the responsibility of a student in managing conflicting situations between them in order to increase self-confidence and to generate alternative solutions. Also, these educational approaches have an impact on emotional self-awareness and the development of emotional and behavioural self-regulation mechanisms, leading to the diminishing of bioadaptive thoughts and dysfunctional emotions as precursors to school inadequacy; 65% of teachers are concerned with educational approaches promoting in students methods and techniques for awareness of their own emotions, developing their ability to adapt their personal sensitivity to their own emotional signals that lead to behavioural reactions (Hughes & Bradford, 2013), increasing stress tolerance through emotional self-awareness and development of defence and adaptation mechanisms (Lemeni & Miclea, 2010); and 75% of respondents supported the need to adopt in pupils according to age and individual peculiarities, to sociocultural status, of some strategies to develop effective mechanisms of adequate emotional expression in risk and difficult situations by promoting strategies for emotional regulation and solving of problems in school and social contexts with increased difficulty level and risk factor. A solution advanced by 85% of teachers is the allocation of more hours to guidance and counselling course, the diversification of the issues addressed, the organization of continuous training courses on the above-mentioned topics according to international standards, but also the design of some educational programs, that would follow the theme, these representing examples of good practice for teachers. The same interviewees have advanced as a solution the need to involve pupils in the community as actively as possible, in volunteering, which would support them in connecting with community members, in the awareness of the way individuals communicate, engage in assertive communication in the inter-human relation, develop personal skills by increasing the level of personal awareness in the sphere of assertiveness through mechanisms to regulate it according to the social context; also active involvement with the family in community activities helps them to develop decision-making skills by anchoring them in new challenging situations to practice the decision-making mechanisms in order to make a decision in a relatively short time without the involvement of risk factors; through active involvement in the school-family-community partnerships, independent behaviour, student autonomy are developed, by obtaining some better and more efficient capacities for adaptability and independence, as well as positive interrelation skills based on mutual respect and empathy. Interviewees have argued that developing pupils' emotional connection with others helps to manage emotional processes, social responsibility, and awareness of the impact that emotions have on decision-making. From the answers of 80% of respondents it was confirmed that it is necessary for the educated to develop adaptability mechanisms, testing the social reality, which is in a permanent dynamics of change so as to objectively assess the social reality, to be able to correlate the subjective experience with the objective reality without losing control by the manifestation of impulsivity. This requires adaptive alternative behaviours to those with a high degree of impulsivity, but all these changes can only be achieved by increasing self-awareness and adopting a strategy for the near future to raise awareness of the value of flexibility, to limit this type of behaviour, and to adopt an alternative behaviour. Through the interview based survey we appreciate that the information obtained has been a real support for the improvement of the continuous training of the teachers yet it is a poor problem, there is no a coherent unitary, flexible offer and there is a small number of specialists in the field, to promote good practice models.

The lack of financial resources for conferences, workshops on personal development, fees for attending specialized courses that are hardly honoured by these beneficiaries significantly influence the classroom educational activity. Responses provided by respondents aimed their willingness to participate in vocational training programs that focus on models and centre on the applicative dimension, ``by combining harmoniously interactive techniques with experimental practices in this field but also practicing their creative capacity in methodological plan” (Cuc, 2014a, p.67). All the solutions advanced by teachers are relevant anchors in professional training but also in identifying the best intervention strategies in terms of training intercultural communication competence.


If we approach a philosophical reflection exercise in this social and global policy dynamics, we see that the care of the individual is to live as authentic as possible, to build a 'different way of life', to discover the harmony of ideas and of feelings, to build a lifestyle based on the harmony and quality of personal and social life. In this exercise, the individual designs an intervention plan, a self-healing, an alternative way of thinking, living and developing his / her own emotional regulation capacity and cognitive re-evaluation of the complex emotions involved in different contexts, developing mechanisms for adapting or overcoming stereotypes with negative impact on the cognitive, affective or motivational level. By analysing the daily life of the educated in the postmodern polis, his needs and interests, the conflicts that degenerate from the lack of satisfying these needs and the insufficiently developed adaptive mechanisms threaten the primate self and the public self through poor social identification by suppressing emotions by the subject leading to the decrease its well-being, with negative influences on the psychic, physical and emotional plane. They require a rigorous design, organization and deflation of educational approaches in partnership with the family and community for "the free, integral and harmonious development of human individuality, the formation of the autonomous personality and the assumption of a system of values that are necessary for personal fulfilment and development, for the development of entrepreneurial spirit, for active citizenship in society, for social inclusion and for employment on the labour market "(art.2, paragraph 3, Law nr.1 / 2011)


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18 December 2019

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Cuc*, M. C. (2019). Particularities Of Regulatory Mechanisms In Gymnasium Students. In V. Chis, & I. Albulescu (Eds.), Education, Reflection, Development – ERD 2018, vol 63. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 44-54). Future Academy.