The paper discusses pedagogical aspects of shaping person’s psychological safety that affects the health-saving processes during educational process. The content of the resources of students’ psychological security from adverse effects of social environment is proposed. The definition of psychological safety from the point of view of health saving is formulated. Psychological safety means the mechanism for the shaping of personal experience, determined by the constructs of personalized choice and protection in the model of modern development, self-approval and vital activity. The described system of health-saving methods of working with students allows us to comprehend and really form pedagogical approaches to the use of psychological resources of personal safety and security. Pedagogical approaches that aim to neutralize of negative impact of «complex of the psychological pressure» on the individual in the educational environment are presented. The presented system needs empirical testing, so the next step is planned to organize and conduct a formative experiment aimed at improving psychological safety in the process of health-saving training.
Nowadays one of the most priority area of health-saving education is studying the problem of person’s psychological safety, which is psychological well-being and harmonious development of the individual. Increase of psycho-traumatic impacts of social environment and different sources the threat, which harm both mental health of the person in educational environment and in general are noted in the number of studies (Blinov, 2016; Kitayeva, 2016)
Analysis of current researches shows that young students represent the sector of the population with higher risk factors, psychologically important factors are inadequate assessment of mental danger (risky behavior, development of psychological dysfunction, psychological helplessness, manipulation); emotional incompetence (inability to deal with stress, psychological pressure, emotional disturbing connected with educational situations, tough life moments, worries); self-destructive behavior (drinking alcohol, using drugs, unsafe sex, dangerous experiments, etc.). Several authors pay special attention to the individual’s psychological dangers (problems in the area of interpersonal relations, a chase after fashion, impulsiveness, pronounced conflictogenity, moral and psychological defamation of personal meanings, low level of self-control, etc., that might be characterized as «psychological pressure complex»
It is important to note the pedagogical aspects (resources) of psychological safety and person’s support that aim to neutralization of negative impact on individual and his/her security that is caused by «psychological pressure complex».
Psychological safety as a category is commonly used in modern researches. It is interpreted as an person’s objective evaluation of the enabling environment for his or her functioning, health, development (Gafiatulina et al., 2017); individual’s satisfaction of life and social activity that creates the space full of safety from any danger (Gafiatulina et al., 2017); integrative characteristics of an individual, that show level of satisfaction of his or her basic needs in safety; it is determined by intensities of his/her experience of mental well-being (Gatiyatullina, 2018); a condition of educational environment, that is free from the psychological violence, and helps to meet the needs of open communication; it creates a reference importance of the environment and provides mental health of its participants (Gatiyatullina, 2018) and others.
In conclusion, in the term of ability to handle with negative external and internal influence and to provide security and chances of personal development in the direction of individual’s main life goal, success and well-being, psychological safety is one of the person’s safety projectionsthat reflect specifics of his or her internal world’s organization (or internal resources) (Yoo et al., 2018). In this interpretation psychological safety can be considered as a result of person’s successful overcoming the adverse impact of social (educational) environment. It arises in a process of interaction of personal qualities and negative factors of this environment. Psychological safety can be understood as an ability to maintain stability in the environment with specific parameters, including traumatizing effects; and as an indicator of resistance to destructive external and internal impacts. It reflects in person’s experience of security/insecurity in the specific life situation (Blinov et al., 2016). It is important to note that psychological security and well-being is a result of person’s conscious, cognitive, emotional and behavioral efforts to handle with adverse factors and emotional regulation (Svechkarev, 2010). Despite the relevance of the problem of psychological security of a person, the available information is not structured enough, the approaches to its improvement in health-saving education are poorly presented.
If we are looking at the problems of psychological security and safety in educational environment, it is important to note that in terms of dangers, threats, risks etc., educational institutions are considered as subjects of defending and security (Svechkarev, 2010). The research problem raises the following questions:
- What aspects of psychological safety are currently highlighted?
- What are the conditions for improving psychological safety in health-saving education?
Purpose of the Study
The aim of the study is to analyze and systematize the theoretical aspects of the psychological security of a person in a health-saving education, as well as to develop pedagogical approaches to its improvement.
Theoretical analysis of the literature, as well as analytical and synthetic methods are used as the main research methods.
Yoo et al. (2018) gives three aspects of psychological safety in educational environment: 1) as a condition of educational environment, that is free from the psychological violence, and helps to meet the needs of open communication; 2) as a system of interpersonal relations that causes a sense of belonging (reference importance); 3) as a measure system that aims to prevent threats for a productive and stable person’s development (Yoo et al., 2018).
Gres (2015) thinks that health-saving, safe and comfortable educational environment is a set of institutionally-pedagogical, psychologically physiological and socially typological components that contribute to realization of coping capacity of individual, preserving and strengthening of students’ psychological and physical health, socialization and conditions when learners can develop their skills without any coercion. This definition emphasizes the ability of the person to identify and pursue the opportunities of self-determination and self-expression considering their health status and possible necessity of its further promotion (Gres, 2015).
Research experience shows that important conditions for ensuring personal psychological safety (especially in a risk situation) are:
1) assimilation of a certain "pattern of behavior" in an extreme situation, allowing to perform the task and not to suffer personally; health behavior in modern social psychology of health is considered as an act of decision-making, a stadium process and activity (Stukalova et al., 2018). Healthy-saving (self-preserving) behavior is defined as a system of actions aimed at forming and preserving health, reducing morbidity and increasing life expectancy. Traditional health-saving behaviors include attitudes towards one's own health, medical activity, attitudes toward physical culture and sports, attitudes toward substance use, reproductive attitudes, and sexual behavior.
Within the cognitive approach methodology it is proposed a health-saving behavior model to be a decision strategy (Mukhin et al., 2020). The model describes the behavior of a subject as a result of the addition of individual health-related subject cognitions:
1) perceived risk, perceptions of the severity of the problem, possible benefits and obstacles to the adoption of this behavior model (Mukhin et al., 2020).
2) possession of psychological self-regulation techniques applicable immediately before an extreme situation, in an extreme situation and immediately after it. Extreme situations of various nature (social, natural, man-made, criminal) are considered as factors that cause excessive stress on the system of psychological self-regulation and lead to the development of emotional tension. A person can experience all kinds of mental states: frustration, anxiety, fear, stress, affect, uncertainty in his powers, mental suppression, etc. Mental states can negatively affect the behavior and activity of a person, but at the same time, the optimal level of states (anxiety, frustration, etc.) can contribute to the mobilization of internal psyche resources. According to a survey of students, initially in an extreme situation, they had a state of fear, due to the surprise of what happened and a lack of information (Vereshchagina et al., 2015)
Some scientists think that the model of psychologically safe educational environment includes the system of humane interpersonal relations, constructive communication, creativity and the system of measure that aims to prevent different threats. There is a sustainable relationship of interactions and mutual influence between the environment and a person that creates mentally safe environment (Laponova et al., 2018). It can be claimed that the humane paradigm - that aims to establishment of humanistic interaction of participants in the educational process in joint activities, provides «a sense of basic meeting the need of safety and security» and helps to unleash and develop personal potential - has to be implemented in educational institutes (Kryuchkova et al., 2021).
Pedagogical aspects of person’s psychological security are connected with term «self-actualization» as psychological and social phenomena, which provides a psychological framework of safe, «flexible» behavior and health-saving resource. In term of health-saving, self-actualization is a process and mechanism of personalized practice of solving person’s development problems in the system of priorities of life safety, that are connected with specific characteristics of person’s internal world (Shubovich et al., 2018). They are self-control, self-regulation, self-esteem etc. Self-actualization of personal idea of reality helps to react more holistic and adequate to different kinds of risk, to show the high level of stability and mental and emotional poise. This is an important factor of person’s psychological safety development (Yerezhepov et al., 2019).
In the term of health-saving, psychological safety is a mechanism of forming personal experience; it is defined in the constructs of the personified choice and defense in the model of modern development, self-actualization and life (Weinstein & Sandman, 2002). In this interpretation, the definition of psychological safety is about forming experience of health-saving fundamentals of behavior regulation; motivation to search the optimal strategies that are aimed to actualize person’s health-saving potential and oriented on improving your own health and influencing your safety based on mechanism of self-actualization and self-realization; forming rational health-saving consciousness and adaptation to conditions of safe living (studies, leisure, resting, etc.) that needs learning conscious attitude to safety as an internal person’s need (Dmitrieva et al., 2015).
Students' learning of competencies and technologies in the field of psychological security and safety is possible with forming safe-behavior qualities. As different approaches that aim to neutralization of negative impact of «complex of the psychological pressure» on the individual, it is recommended to use health-saving psychotechnologies of personal safety development, publically available ways of psychological correction, psychological impact and psychological and hygienic ensuring of activities, organization of health-saving pedagogical situations, development of health-oriented initiations, learning the methods of self-regulation, self-control, self-esteem, self-correction that is based on reflection of life meanings and goals; providing consulting and diagnostic assistance on "situational issues" based on the ability and desire to overcome mental illness, stressful conditions and etc. (Yerezhepov et al., 2019).
It is necessary to note such pedagogical assistance (support) actualizing this problem as knowing forms and regulation of one’s behavior that defines developing of social immunity, social and mental stability, risk management; learning to resolve hard situations that are connected with inadequate life circumstances, to prevent different threats, to make your own choice how to act safely; teaching students how to think critically and independently of social, psychological, spiritual and moral values, etc.
The system of health-saving forms and methods of work with students helps to realize and to form pedagogical approaches to using psychological resources of safety and security of a person.
As a result of the literature analysis, the following conclusions were formulated. The definition of psychological safety from the point of view of health saving is formulated. Psychological safety is a mechanism for the shaping of personal experience, determined by the constructs of personalized choice and protection in the model of modern development, self-approval and vital activity.
The described system of health-saving methods of working with students allows us to comprehend and really form pedagogical approaches to the use of psychological resources of personal safety and security.
The presented system needs empirical testing, so the next step is planned to organize and conduct a formative experiment aimed at improving psychological safety in the process of health-saving training.
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25 June 2021
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Personality, norm, pathology, behavior, uncertanity, COVID-19
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Kozin, A., Akmalov, A., & Repin, S. (2021). Pedagogical Aspects Of Psychological Safety In Health-Saving Education. 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. 431-436). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.06.04.50