The purpose of the study is to compare the level of adolescents' resilience with the subject and object levels of personality development (norm, social and pedagogical neglect, delinquency). The study has covered 85 teenagers, aged 14-16, from schools and rehabilitation centers. The subjects have been divided into 3 groups: norm, social and pedagogical neglect, delinquency. The following methods have been used: “Hardiness survey”, “Express diagnostics of human agency MEDA-3”, “Multidimensional functional diagnostics of responsibility”, “Express diagnostics of symptom complexes of qualities, attributed to responsibility and will”, “Diagnostics of the content aspect of will”, “Determination of tendency to deviant behavior”, “Tendency to deviant behavior”. The result is that the adolescents in the norm group leave behind the neglected and delinquents in terms of all components of resilience, the development of agent personal traits, will and responsibility. Neglected adolescents and delinquents have poorly developed agent personal traits (the subject of self-awareness, communication and activity). They cannot control their emotions and actions as well as the situation; they cannot take responsibility, exercise social reflection and think about the negative consequences of their behavior. The conclusion is that the resilience of adolescents is influenced by such psychological factors as the level of development of agent personality traits, will, responsibility, the tendency to socially desirable behavior, the absence of social and pedagogical neglect.
Relevance of the study
The relevance of the study is connected with the study of adolescents’ resilience, since this age is one of the most important for its formation. Resilience is necessary for adolescents to preserve physical and mental health, to adapt in difficult life situations effectively and to realize oneself. It is important to note that the underdevelopment of resilience is reflected in the formation of a special internal position of the individual which does not allow adolescents to control their actions, solve emerging problems and overcome difficulties. Consequently, they often get under a negative influence and use deviant strategies that destroy their personality. At the same time, the influence of low resilience on the dynamics of adolescent behavior disorders (norm, socio-pedagogical neglect, delinquency) has not been studied.
The problem of the research
The problem of the research is connected with the study of personal traits as resources of a personality resilience in dependence with the level of the development of personal agency.
Resilience is interpreted as a measure of agency in the interaction of a person with the world; a universal factor of resistance to hardships; stressful situations; a process in which positive adaptation to life difficulties is demonstrated. In addition, resilience is an ability to cope with anxiety while preserving innate balance and not reducing the activity success. The structural components of resilience such as involvement, risk and control have been singled out (Maddi & Harvey, 2005). Resilient individuals are different in their ability to transform their personal organization into a resilient system (Leont'ev & Rasskazova, 2006; Mahnach, 2017; Mitrofanova, 2019; Pelihova, 2017; Rasskazova, 2015). Thus, resilience as a key resource for overcoming life difficulties is defined as an ability and readiness of the subject to take part (involvement) in complicated situations, to control and manage them (control), not to be afraid of everything new, unknown, emerging difficulties on the way to goals, being able to take risks (risk) (Pelihova, 2017).
The personality traits have been studied as innate resources of resilience. Researchers note the connection of resilience with consciousness, self-motivation, the Big five personality traits, openness, agreeableness (Martela & Ryan, 2016; Rosenberg et al., 2015).
As the studies show, resilience interacts with an activity; with a human ability to make independent decisions; with an ability to cope with difficulties and stressful situations, staying healthy; with professional and academic success. Resilience is associated with self-confidence; an ability to transform stressful circumstances and life experience; antifragility; ambiguity tolerance (Fominova, 2012; Loginova, 2010; Mahnach, 2017; Mitrofanova, 2019; Post, 2005; Stecishin, 2008; Vindeker & Klimenskih, 2016).
However, the available studies of the interaction of personal traits and adolescent resilience were not focused on the general level of personality development as a subject of his own life (Deniz & Satici, 2017; Pelihova, 2017; Vindeker & Klimenskih, 2016).
In this case, the norm is considered as a limit, degree, level of acceptable behavior (allowed or mandatory), actions of people, society, which have been formed in this society historically. The definition of the norm implies a generally accepted feature of the majority.
Offense is illegal behavior, guilty, socially dangerous unlawful act (act or omission), contrary to the requirements of legal norms. It is noted that pro-social behavior increases well-being and resilience (Martela & Ryan, 2016).
Agency (subject development of personality) is a characteristic of a teenager that determines his activity, his formation as a subject of self-awareness, activity and communication. This is a characteristic of the adolescent’s relationship with the world, his ability to interact with the environment and transform it (socio-psychological adaptation). Sometimes, due to various reasons, the adolescent’s agency does not develop. In this case, there is an object development of a personality. In such a case, a teenager is not able to be responsible for and control his behavior, communication and activities (social and pedagogical neglect). Thus, deviant behavior is often characteristic of neglected adolescents (Ovcharova, 2020).
In the course of the research, we have been interested in the following questions:
- What personal-psychological factors influence the resilience of adolescents?
- Do the indicators of resilience differ in adolescents with normal (agent) personality development, in adolescents with social and pedagogical neglect and in delinquent adolescents (object personality development)?
Purpose of the Study
The purpose is to compare the level of adolescents' resilience with the subject (agent) and object levels of personality development (norm, social and pedagogical neglect, delinquency).
The current research is based on the methodology of the subject-activity and existence-phenomenon approaches in psychology (Leont'ev & Rasskazova, 2006; Ovcharova, 2020).
“Hardiness survey” (Leont'ev & Rasskazova, 2006); “Express diagnostics of human agency” (Ovcharova, 2020); “Multidimensional functional diagnostics of responsibility”, “Express diagnostics of symptom complexes of qualities, attributed to responsibility and will”, “Diagnostics of the content aspect of will” (Prjadein, 2013); “Determination of tendency to deviant behavior” (Oryol, 2007); “Tendency to deviant behavior” (Leus et al., 2017).
The research has covered 85 adolescents (46 female and 39 male adolescents), aged 14-16, from schools and rehabilitation centers. They have been divided into 3 groups: “norm”, “social and pedagogical neglect”, “delinquency”.
The comparative analysis of average indices by the Mann-Whitney U-test has revealed the following. The differences among the groups were observed on 3 resilience scales, the level of development of personal agency, tendency to deviant behavior, will, responsibility and its components, socially conditioned, delinquent, addictive and aggressive behavior (Table 1).
Significant differences between the groups were recorded in half of the cases out of the 26 compared indices. Consequently, the similarity, resulting from age characteristics, is revealed in half of the cases.
Teenagers of the “norm” group with a high level of resilience are able to endure a stressful situation, preserving innate balance, without reducing the success of their activities and without resorting to socially disapproved behavior. The developed properties of the subject of self-awareness, the ability to control their emotions and actions make them be socially adapted. In particular, control gives confidence and the ability to influence the result of activity, gives restraint, repression of feelings, avoidance of impulsive actions. This index is also associated with involvement, which contributes to enjoyment of activities and emotional emancipation (Table 2).
The development of the properties of the subject of communication (need for communication, social reflection, communicative qualities, social forecasting) are also interrelated with involvement. The properties of the subject of academic activity (cognitive activity and motivation, possession of methods of acquiring knowledge, education, educational success), expressed manifestations of will and responsibility contribute to an attitude towards life as a way of gaining experience and, accordingly, readiness to take risks.
The adolescents of the “social and pedagogical neglect” group showed a negative correlation between all components of resilience and indices of deviant behavior. A highly positive correlation is observed among general resilience, agent personal traits and socially acceptable behavior. The component of resilience - ”involvement”, has a positive correlation with will, responsibility, the subject of communication and activity, socially approved behavior. The same component has a negative correlation with the subject of self-awareness and all types of deviant behavior (Table 3).
In the group “socio-pedagogical neglect” self-awareness, will and responsibility of adolescents are not sufficiently formed. Therefore, the choice of one’s own position in complicated situations is difficult and is more emotional than rational, which often leads to deviant actions.
In the manifestation of the properties of the subject of academic activity (self-motivation, possession of methods of educational actions, academic success), they would be ready for risk. However, in real life, neglected adolescents, as a rule, are not developed as subjects of academic activity and are pedagogically neglected, unsuccessful.
Due to the average development level of the properties of the subject of communication, neglected adolescents can maintain social ties and involvement in social communication.
In the group of “delinquents” adolescents, the index of general resilience and all its components (involvement, control and risk) has direct correlations with will, responsibility, properties of the subject of self-awareness, communication and academic activities, socially conditioned behavior and the opposite correlations - with all types of deviant behavior. High resilience indices contribute to rule-based behavior and prevent deviant behavior. The adolescents of the “delinquency” group are distinguished by the underdevelopment of all agent personal traits (subject of self-awareness, academic activity and communication), weak will and responsibility. This indicates inadequate self-esteem and level of aspiration, object innate position of an individual, low social status, failure in communication and academic activity. The specified peculiarities of delinquent adolescent become an obstacle to resilience and its manifestations of involvement, risk and control. As in the other groups, all indices of resilience of these adolescents are connected with socially conditioned behavior. However, since this category has low resilience, this type of behavior is not typical for it (Table 4).
The adolescents of the “delinquency” group are distinguished by the underdevelopment of all agent personal traits (subject of self-awareness, academic activity and communication), weak will and responsibility. This indicates inadequate self-esteem and level of aspiration, object innate position of an individual, low social status, failure in communication and academic activity. The specified peculiarities of delinquent adolescent become an obstacle to resilience and its manifestations of involvement, risk and control. As in the other groups, all indices of resilience of these adolescents are connected with socially conditioned behavior. However, since this category has low resilience, this type of behavior is not typical for it.
The similarity of indices of all groups is that a higher level of resilience and its components leads to a decrease in deviant behavior. On the contrary, an increase in the indices of deviant behavior results in a decrease of resilience level. Age characteristics determine the similarity among the groups according to half of the studied parameters. In them, it is necessary to single out the attitude towards socially desirable behavior and the lack of inclination to overcome norms and rules.
Also, in delinquent and neglected adolescents, direct correlations were revealed between the component of resilience – “risk” and the properties of the subject of activity.
The results obtained confirm our hypothesis: object development of personality (social and pedagogical neglect, delinquency) decreases the adolescents’ resilience, and subject development (norm) contributes to its increase.
This research is limited to the set tasks and does not solve the whole problem. Further studies of adolescent resilience can relate to its gender characteristics and the specifics of the social situation of development.
The adolescents of the “norm” group leave behind the neglected and delinquents according to all components of resilience, will and responsibility. They have developed the properties of the subject of self-awareness (adequate self-esteem and level of aspiration, agent innate position of an individual). These properties and the ability to control their behavior make these adolescents socially adapted. The control enables them to influence the result of the activity, helps to avoid impulsive actions. The development of the properties of the subject of communication (need for communication, social reflection, communicative qualities, social forecasting) is also connected with involvement. Involvement contributes to emotional emancipation and pleasure from activities. The properties of the subject of academic activity (cognitive activity and motivation, possession of methods of acquiring knowledge, academic success) are interrelated with the attitude towards life as a way of gaining experience and, accordingly, readiness to take risks.
All this helps adolescents to cope with stress, difficult situations, while preserving innate balance, without reducing the success of their activities. It gives them a possibility to realize themselves and to become the subjects of their own life.
The neglected and delinquent adolescents have a poor control over their emotions and actions. Due to this and the underdevelopment of the properties of the subject of self-awareness and communication, it is difficult for them to reflect of their behavior and its consequences. Their failure as the subjects of academic activity diminishes their status in the academic group, develops an inferiority complex and causes compensatory responses in the form of fake communication and deviant behavior.
The personality traits of delinquent adolescents (weak will and responsibility, immature innate personal position, problems of self-esteem and level of aspiration, social maladjustment, and poor mastery of academic activities) do not contribute to resilience and its manifestations of involvement, risk and control. The underdevelopment of the properties of the subject of self-awareness becomes an obstacle to involvement and control.
The similarity of indices of all the groups is that a higher level of resilience and its components leads to a decrease in deviant behavior, and vice versa, an increase in indices of deviant behavior results in a decrease in the level of resilience. All adolescents demonstrate an increased attitude towards the socially desirable behavior and a lack of inclination to overcome norms and rules.
Thus, this study provides great opportunities for solving this problem. The study shows that increasing the resilience of adolescents can contribute to the prevention and overcoming of socio-pedagogical neglect and deviant behavior. Low resilience is associated with the dynamics of behavioral deviations: from normal to delinquent. On the other hand, the formation of personal qualities, will and responsibility of adolescents can increase their resilience, tolerance to stress and self-confidence. The practical significance of the study lies in the possibility of using the results obtained in the work of teachers and psychologists on the formation of the resilience of adolescents with different levels of its manifestation and personal development.
This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the government of the Kurgan region, the project “The study of the subjective image of the social world of young students of the Kurgan region in order to predict the social processes in the youth environment” (No19-413-450002\19, No 19-413-450002\20).
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25 June 2021
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Personality, norm, pathology, behavior, uncertanity, COVID-19
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Ovcharova, R. (2021). Comparative Аnalysis Of Adolescence Resilience (Norm, Neglect, Delinquency). In M. Ovchinnikov, I. Trushina, E. Zabelina, & S. Kurnosova (Eds.), Personality in Norm and in Pathology, vol 112. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 185-194). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.06.04.22