Students’ Social Competence Impact On The Willingness To Respond Against Social Dangerousness


The article deals with the research results obtained from students who pursue vocational secondary studies. It includes the effect of structural components of social competence on young people’s readiness to respond against social dangerousness. At the first stage of sociological research, the authors hold a survey to determine young people’s attitude to various aspects of socially behavioural risks and readiness to counter them. The second stage involves an impact analysis of social competence structural components on the opposition to socially dangerous behaviour. The study shows that 74% of 212 students are ready to resist this type of danger. Factor analysis finds that the willingness to resist is influenced by all structural components of social competence. However, the social-psychological component is represented by the effect of resilience, activity, conflict resistance, suggestibility, and communicative tolerance. A low level of communication control is caused by students’ failure to refer their response to others’ behaviour. It gives rise to inadequate patterns of students’ behaviour in a dangerous situation, the choice of inflexible solutions. Searching for a corresponding response to danger is difficult because of the low level of a cognitive component, despite that someone else's, socially troubled, is negatively taken by respondents. The axiological component outlooks regulatory function of behaviour in case of social danger. Factor analysis of the internal patterns of value orientations reveals students’ tendency to culture-universal values, embodying the habit to the social environment, someone else’s self-image. It explains students’ tolerant perception of people around and affects the opposition to extremism.

Keywords: Social competence, the young, social danger, social risk, extremism


Social dangerousness (Strebkov et al., 2015) is becoming more and more clearly defined and appears a real challenge and concerns among the Russian public due to expanding globalization phenomenon taking place in society, as well as the contentious relationship among people caused by the low tolerance tendency of the participants in social relations. A special risk group is represented by young people due to their internal psychology (Kononov & Chebotarev, 2018). It is believed that due to the specific age characteristics and under conditions of freedom, adolescents constitute the sector of society that has an opportunity to accumulate and perform negative potential quickly (Mazina, 2019). Social competence of an individual can become one of the ways to counteract or prevent social dangerousness. That is why the issue of constructing and developing the younger generation social competence is getting urgent.

The scholars from various scientific fields (Brännback et al., 2017; Corredor et al., 2017; Kasimova & Biktagirova, 2017; Kelasyev & Pervova, 2019) observe social competence, structure, and influence on personal behaviour. Young people’s socially dangerous behaviour is also becoming an increasingly frequent focus in the study today (Bocharov et al., 2015; Izluchenko & Kudashov, 2019; Strebkov et al., 2015; Zubok & Chuprov, 2008).

Problem Statement

Young people are not always ready for effective interaction with the environment, so their inherent social incompetence can cause various forms of antisocial phenomena, including socially dangerous behaviour. Social competence protects against destruction and can influence the willingness to resist such adverse events.

Research Questions

The type of behaviour that is socially dangerous, a body of unlawful acts motivated by hatred, is defined as extremism. That is why it can be revealed in personal ideology, and not just in actions. Appeared in action, it can generate conflicts turn violent, coming with over-riding of social behaviour rules, and rejecting compromise models of conflict resolution (Strebkov et al., 2015). The reasons for such socially dangerous behaviour are primarily explained by the low level of tolerant personality traits, values-based orientations, and humane views. Socially dangerous behaviour can be shown by the subject of the action himself, but can also be influenced by another person who is inclined to such adverse events.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to review the impact of structural components of social competence on the young people’s readiness to resist social dangerousness.

Research Methods

The sociological study is conducted among students who pursue vocational secondary education studies. It involves 212 students (45% of young men, 55% of girls). The sample consists of the 1st to 4th-year students of different majors aged from 15 to 24 years old (the average age of students is 18 years old).

At the first stage, the students 'readiness to resist socially dangerous behaviour is investigated through a questionnaire. The second step is to study the impact on the willingness to resist structural components of social competence (socio-psychological, axiological, cognitive, reflexive, behavioural).

The outcomes are processed by SPSS Statistics software. The factor analysis method is applied.


Having outlined the representativeness of the sample, the research methods, and the meaning of the notion of social dangerousness, the authors obtain the following results at the first stage of the study.

69% of respondents when answering question 1 believe that the number of extremist thoughts is growing among young people. Probably, such a view is shaped among students against the background of events broadcasted in mass media and social media. 27% of respondents do not take this for a threat, because of misunderstanding the essentials and outcomes.

To question 2, What are the reasons for growing socially dangerous thoughts among young people? respondents named information explosion about violence in mass media, social media, and the Internet (44%), as well as an undereducation and culture of young people (39%). 7% of respondents do not correlate a rise in the number of migrants with a rise to violent extremism. In general, the responses adequately inform of proper assessment of the current situation. We can suppose that the cognitive and reflexive components allow the authors to give a correct appraisal of the phenomenon.

Question 3 Have you ever personally faced any extremist group and, if so, what did you feel about it? Clarify your meaning gave the following answers: the overall percentage of people who were negative about this danger still prevails-13%, while the number of people who wanted to join such a group is limited. It can be assumed that the negative perception of social dangerousness is influenced by the value-based component since it ‘triggers’ the mechanism of judging the alien/stranger (Merdeeva & Bazhenova, 2018a), in this case, socially troubled.

The answers to question 4 What personal qualities do you think a person needs to have in order not to be influenced by extremist beliefs? were distributed as follows: the ability to have their own opinion-51%; willpower - 46 %; awareness of consequences-43%; personality-40%; correct values-26%; tolerance-13%; political correctness -17%. The purpose of the question is to assess the students' personal qualities, to make them look at themselves. The answers stress the presence or, in contrast, the lack of students’ desired qualities.

The answers to question 5, Would you be able to show dislike to another person because of his or her nationality? are as follows: No, this does not correspond to my ethical and moral principles-83%; No, because we are all humans, first of all – 17%; I would never let myself do this-10%; I can be rude, If I get angry - 12%; I always feel free expressing my opinion - 4%; I do not think something is wrong about such behaviour - 2%. This reaction of respondents is caused by traditional and common social prejudices and stereotypes against strangers.

In response to question 6, Describe the people who participate in extremist activities, the respondents choose the following options: these are ‘hung-up’ people who found themselves in such groups by stupidity or mistake-32%; errorist people-27%. Most likely, this may mean that the respondents are mistaken for the fact that no personal motives can be behind socially dangerous behaviour. Among the respondents, some are neither like nor dislike such people. It can be concluded that their concept of justice is distorted, their position is not accomplished, and there is no comprehension of the good and the evil.

Question 7 (case technology): You are walking along the street, and suddenly a stranger comes up to you and starts a conversation, and you are offered to take and read the leaflets. The leaflets contain information that a person of a certain nationality must necessarily live on the territory of only their own country; the culture of other peoples is nothing compared to their native culture. Your talk partner suggests that you meet somewhere else. Explain your actions in this situation. Explain the reason for your choice. What would you do if this passerby turned out to be your longtime acquaintance?

When interpreting the responses to the case, it was found out that the behavioural component comes into action within a context of mixed feelings towards someone else (Merdeeva & Bazhenova, 2018b). The most frequent options were: I find it difficult to answer-35%, I refuse to communicate and meet again-33%, I will not start a conversation and walk by-15%. Respondents are receptive to the situation, and its assessment in terms of the consequences for the subject. But the mechanisms of students’ countering danger are triggered in different ways. Hence, the solutions are diverse. Not all students know how to behave correctly and as safely as possible for themselves. Students have difficulty in choosing a behavioural strategy.

Question 8 (case technology): You noticed a change in the appearance of one of the students in your group. The fellow student began to cut his hair short, wear dark clothes, badges, and clunky shoes. Once you were told that he participated in a mass brawl with beating people of Asian nationality. Your group is multinational. You are Uzbek by nationality. Single out the problem from the situation. How will you behave with this person? The interpretation of the answers shows that 32% of respondents do not think of any solutions and cannot take on the situation. 29% of them assess the situation as dangerous, offering options to stop communicating or be careful. 11% of respondents take the whole situation negatively but do not make themselves clear, 12% say that they will behave as usual, without giving any explanations.

Factor analysis is used to determine the influence of structural components of social competence on the respondents ' readiness to resist extremism. The sample includes students who show a willingness to resist it, i.e., 74% of respondents (see Table 1).

Table 1 - Rotated Component Matrix (cumulative variability-60%)
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The content of the obtained factors can be described as follows.

Factor 1. ‘Personal activity as a resilience resource without communicative control’. A bipolar factor, as it contains a low level of communicative control of situations, i.e. it is explained by students’ openness, relaxedness, but on the other hand, their unfitness to match their reactions and the others’ behaviour. That is why there is a fact of confrontation, but the behaviour is characterized by the all-or-nothing mentality and not always adequate formats of behavioural strategy (answers to questions 7, 8).

Factor 2. ‘Conflict resistance’ as a result of tolerance and low suggestibility. A lack of uncritical willingness to submit to outside influences helps to put the situation in perspective, but showing tolerance towards others. This can affect both the behaviour and perception of extremism as a social danger. The results of the survey show that developed tolerant traits contribute to the development of the ability and skills of literal perception of other people (answers to questions 3, 4, 5). It is known that the leaders of extremist organizations actively use aggression of young people for destructive purposes to mastermind extremist attacks. In the context of the present study, as can be seen, this factor fails, hence danger resistance arises.

Factor 3. ‘Correct behaviour with a lack of knowledge’. Sometimes we are not aware but understand intuitively how to act correctly. In this case, it is the factor that works. We choose the most obvious way for ourselves, most often, denial. Answers to questions 6, 7, 8.

Factor 4. ‘Reflection’. Reflection is triggered by looking for solutions that reflect the willingness to resist extremism (questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 8).

To explore the internal patterns of students’ value-based orientations, a separate factor analysis of terminal and instrumental values is done. A 10-component decision is made for the combined sample of terminal and instrumental values (Table 02).

Table 2 - Factor Structure of Value-based Orientations (cumulative variability- 54.8%)
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The identified factors demonstrate students' focus on common cultural values, which embody the orientation to the social environment, and not only individual preferences. In addition, it is impossible to see the prerequisites for the social tension of young people, generated by priority, for example, of material values or drive for public recognition as a value. The negative value of tolerance in Factor 9 is balanced out by the positive meaning of self-control in Factor 5, as well as the priority of health and wisdom in Factor 6.


In closing, the conducted analysis confirms the principle that social competence has an impact on the willingness to resist social dangerousness, namely:

When influencing the willingness to resist, all structural components of social competence are put into use.

The social-psychological component is represented by the functioning of such traits as resilience, activity, conflict resistance, suggestibility, and communicative tolerance.

The meaning and importance of value-based orientations in the structure of social competence show their direct influence on behaviour and the performance of the regulatory function of behaviour in case of social danger. The students' focus on common cultural values, which embody the orientation to the social environment, to the other’s self-identity, is discovered.


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21 June 2021

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Merdeeva, T., & Bazhenova, N. (2021). Students’ Social Competence Impact On The Willingness To Respond Against Social Dangerousness. In N. G. Bogachenko (Ed.), Amurcon 2020: International Scientific Conference, vol 111. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 656-662). European Publisher.