Exploring The Family Identity Of Future Educators


The article reveals the nature of the concept "family identity" as a person belonging to a family group, which reflects his commitment to family values and manifests himself at cognitive, affective and behavioral levels. The results of diagnosing the family identity of students, reflecting the hierarchy of family values students, the social roles with which they identify themselves, the types of adaptation and cohesion of the parent families of students. The article identifies various indicators of the formation of family identity: the involvement of a person in the life of the family, the presence of positive emotions and attitudes for the creation of their own family, the expression of interest in family history, help and care about parents and ancestors. The article identifies possible ways to develop the family identity of students: the study of traditional disciplines; the study of special disciplines; conducting research work of students on family pedagogy; conducting educational activities on family issues; organizing joint intergenerational activities, aimed at the formation of value attitude to family. The results of this study can be used in the further designing of the family identity development program and its introduction into the process of studying at the university.

Keywords: Identityfamily identityfamily valuesfamilyvalue attitude


At present, questions concerning various aspects of identity are becoming more acute. The process of social globalization means that the individual is given a wider choice of life scenarios. This diversity has a negative impact on the individual's perception of himself as a whole unit. This phenomenon is called identity crisis and can be found everywhere (Mkrtchyan & Galikyan, 2017).

The main causes of the crisis identity include the following: threats of nuclear and man-made disasters, moral irresponsibility of members of society, propaganda of anti-social forms of media behavior, etc. (Goncharova, 2017).

Researchers also record the family crisis in Russian society, which is expressed in the transformation of the family and the devaluation of family values: the legalization of same-sex marriage in many European countries; an increase in the number of women and men who have not married; reduced fertility due to orientation at childlessness; increasing the number of single-parent families; increase in the number of children left without parental care, etc. Vishnevsky and Yachmeneva (2018) in the study of student youth conclude that

In the daily life practice of students, more often marriage and childbirth are not considered as integral components of human life. There are objective reasons for this. A decades-long period of economic and social reforms, their spontaneous and unpredictable nature has made the prospects for family development uncertain, increasing anxiety for their future and the future of their children and make it difficult for young people to make decisions about creating or planning a family life (p. 133).

Constant changes taking place in the modern world, the lack of clear life guidelines deprive a person of the stability and sense of security that human nature demands. There is an even greater need for a person to identify with a relatively constant social group, such as a family. In the family children form an idea of family roles, they assign models of behavior and response to various life situations, styles of child-parent relations. The level of formation of family identity will depend on how a person will continue to build his own family and relationships in it.

All this makes it necessary to study the ways that contribute to the process of forming family identity.

Problem Statement

At present, the priority approach in the activities of the state is to raise a child in the family. The family is traditionally considered as the first and main social institution in a person's life, the formation of a healthy personality and its successful socialization in society depends on the emotional and psychological climate. According to Lesh (1990) the family in the modern world represents the main source of emotional and psychological support for its members, it contributes to the formation of identity of the individual and gives a person a clear guideline for existence in society.

We consider the concept of family as part of the traditional approach, as it is presented in the pedagogical encyclopedia.

Voronin (2006) explored the family as follows: The family is a small social group, whose members are bound by marriage or kinship ties, the commonality of life, mutual moral and material responsibility. The family performs the most important social and social functions: reproductive, economic, educational, social, psychotherapeutic, etc. (p. 96).

This understanding of the family is based on its most important task - the socialization of the individual. This means that the collapse of the family institution undermines the foundations of the social organization as a social system.

According to Buhalova (2012), the family acts as a constitutional beginning of the entire practical sphere of human existence. In the boundary stages of the individual's existence (childhood and old age) the family is a support, a kind of psychological compensator of limited human possibilities.

Moskvicheva, Rean, Kostromina, Grishina, and Zinovieva (2019) in the study of the life patterns of young people came to the following conclusion.

The characteristics of young people's life models are related to the degree of intimacy with the parent family, both in terms of emotional intimacy confirmed by the majority of respondents, and in terms of the division of life values and views for which the sample is more differentiated. The continuity of life patterns is found in the desire to reproduce the parental model of emotionally close relationships in families whose relationships are rated by young people as prosperous, while attitudes in the field of spouses interaction and family planning, as well as professional self-determination, understanding of life's success and career-building, seem to be more influenced by the changes taking place in society (p. 13).

Research on the concept of "identity" in the scientific community is becoming increasingly popular due to the increasing speed of the life rhythm of modern man, with the need to identify himself, understand the integrity and continuity of “Self” in a changing world. One of the most important types of social identity is family identity (Strokova, 2014).

Issues of family identity are mainly considered in psychology. In our opinion, the concept of "family identity" is more fully revealed in the article by Lukyanchenko (2015). The author considers family identity as "a subjective image of belonging to a family group, reflecting the characteristics of the group and its functioning in it in structural, emotional and assessment and cognitive aspects" (Lukyanchenko, 2015, p. 86). In shaping the structure of personality, the first and fundamental are the ideas about the family. Strokova (2017) highlights the cognitive, emotional, value and behavioral components of family identity.

Thus, we conclude that a family identity can be defined as belonging to a family group, reflecting a commitment to family values and manifesting itself at cognitive, affective and behavioral levels, which is characterized by human involvement in the family, the presence of positive emotions and attitudes to the creation of their own family, the expression of interest in family history, in the care and care of parents and grandparents.

In order to determine possible ways of developing the family identity of students, we analyzed various programs of modules on pedagogical areas, implemented in the Institute of Continuous Pedagogical Education of NovSU. Analysis of these programs shows that the main ways to develop the family identity of future teachers are:

  • study of traditional disciplines (Theoretical basics of pedagogy, Interaction of subjects of educational relations, General and age psychology, Pedagogical psychology, Social pedagogy and psychology, Sociology, Culture Science , etc.);

  • study of special disciplines (Social and Educational Problems of the Family, Technologies of Social and Educational Work with different categories of families, Family Diagnostics, Psychological Support of Teachers and Parents, Basics psychological and educational work with the family, etc.);

  • conducting research work of students on family pedagogy (participation in seminars and conferences, writing articles);

  • family education events ( debate “Conflict of generations”, visit to orphanage, volunteer activities, etc.);

  • organization of joint intergenerational activities aimed at forming value attitude to the family (meetings with veterans and honorary residents of Veliky Novgorod).

Research Questions

What is the whole point of “family identity”?

What type of identity is dominant among students?

What are the most important family values for students?

What is the family structure among the interviewed students?

What are the possible ways to develop the family identity of university students?

Purpose of the Study

Disclosure of the essential characteristics of family identity and the study of the formation of family identity of students of the pedagogical fields of Yaroslav- the -Wise Novgorod State University.

Research Methods

The diagnostic study was conducted on the basis of Yaroslav- the -Wise Novgorod State University. It was attended by 84 first-year students of different educational profiles.

The test "Who am I?" by M. Kuna and T. Mackpartland, in the modification of T.V. Rumyantseva was conducted to study the meaningful characteristics of identity.

A "Family Adaptation and Cohesion Scale" questionnaire (FACES-3) was used to assess the family structure.

The "Family Values Method" was carried out to study the values of the subjects


Young people self-image

In the initial stages of the diagnostic study, a "Who am I" test was conducted among students of the first courses of NovSU to identify the dominant type of identity of the student (Table 01 ).

Table 1 -
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Table 01 provides a category of responses containing objective characteristics that show the subjects' awareness of belonging to certain social groups. Negative assessment of the answer-characteristics concerning this sphere of identity of the individual. So 4 of the 48 "daughter/son" feature choices are assessed by students ambivalently. Out of the characteristics related to the family type of identity, the characteristic sister/brother is represented 27 times out of 84. The "sister/brother" answer-characteristic has a negative rating in 7 cases. It should also be emphasized that when answering the question "Who am I?" most students describe their subjective qualities and characteristics and do not give the answers that speak about belonging to any social classes and groups. In our opinion, the difficulty in categorizing ourselves as a group on gender, age, regional and other grounds confirms the existence of an identity crisis which we talked about in the theoretical part of the study.

Exploring the structure of freshman families

As it is well known, family cohesion and its ability to adapt to change are critical indicators of the family situation. Cohesion and adaptability is the integrative parameters of the family system that describe the structure of the family in terms of the ability to respond to external and internal influences.

The results of the “Family Adaptation and Cohesion Scale” survey are presented in Table 02.

Table 2 -
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On the scale of cohesion balanced types of family cohesion, such as separated (33) and related (21) were identified among 54 interviewed students. At this level of cohesion, the optimal work of the family system is ensured. On the one hand, it is a certain distance between family members, and on the other hand, it is emotional intimacy and support. Family members have freedom and personal space, if necessary come to each other's aid. It combines independence and close ties.

The divided level of family cohesion was revealed among 25 people. This shows that in such families parents do not pay enough attention to the younger generation, even in situations where the child needs support. Family members are emotionally distant from each other, have no attachment and have no common interests. According to the results of the questionnaire, there are 3 families a chained type of family cohesion, which as in the case of the disjointed type indicates the imbalance of the family system. Since the level of cohesion is too high, parents do not allow children to do their own business and interests, give them too much time. Family members have no freedom of action, everything is agreed and dependent on each other.

The survey found that 37 students had structural (20) and flexible (17) types of family adaptation. These types of adaptation are most appropriate for the successful functioning of the family, as they combine the family's ability to change internally and maintain stability. In both cases the democratic style of leadership prevailed with a joint discussion of issues taking into account the views of the younger generation. The rules and roles established within the family are stable and change only when necessary.

Exploring the structure of students' values

The system of values of a person acts as the main regulator of his behavior in society, it is a set of the most significant ideas and beliefs. To study values, students were offered a list of values that they had to rank according to the degree of significance. Average responses and percentages are represented in Table 03 . The lower the figure, the higher the value.

Table 3 -
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Based on the data presented in the table, it can be noticed that the main preference in the hierarchy of values was given to the values of love, respect for parents, sincerity and openness in relationships, emotional well-being. Such indicators say that the value of interpersonal communication, mutual support and understanding is being brought to the fore, which is likely to be fundamental in starting an own family. The priority in the structure of the values of students is the orientation to individual well-being. Values related to the sphere of parenthood, such as raising children and having children, placed in 6th and 11th places after the values of education and financial well-being. This points to the desire of young people to gain independence and financial well-being before establishing their own family and childbirth. The values of interaction between relatives, such as family traditions and joint vacations occupy 9th and 10th places in the hierarchy.


In this article we defined the concept and structure of family identity, conducted a diagnostic study of its components, identified the main ways of forming family identity on the basis of an educational institution.

In the modern world, where there are no clear life guidelines for the individual, the importance of the family is growing more than ever. The family, as a relatively stable system, gives a person the necessary guidelines for life in society, for his effective interaction with other people. It also provides a society for a person who is ready to live and build relationships in accordance with the norms of public life, which becomes one of the conditions for stable development of the state.

In the context of the transformation of the family as a social institution, it is necessary to work purposefully to develop the family identity of future students, who in the future will have to interact with the family, where it will be possible to work together to shape the family identity of schoolchildren based on traditional values.


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26 August 2020

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Educational strategies, educational policy, teacher training, moral purpose of education, social purpose of education

Cite this article as:

Elkina, K. K. (2020). Exploring The Family Identity Of Future Educators. In S. Alexander Glebovich (Ed.), Pedagogical Education - History, Present Time, Perspectives, vol 87. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 278-285). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.08.02.35