The Role Of The Family In Preventing Deviant Adolescent Behaviour


Modern society is characterized by an increasing number of deviations in social, physical and mental development of the younger generation. The situation of pandemic anxiety, serious economic problems, expressed in the decline of living standards among the population and the continuing society stratification, environmental disasters, political crisis and generally tense social situation cause such an internal state of a person, in which there is inevitably a transmission of values. Unfortunately, this transvaluation does not always work out for good. Many people begin to feel insecure about the future, content with immediate needs satisfaction, refusing personal growth and aspirations for positive life changes, and in the worst case finding solutions to problems in alcohol or drugs, gambling, computer or video games, and other means of creating an illusory better world. This attitude naturally affects children. Adults, especially parents, often ignore such important aspects for the child's personality formation as the goal, objectives, principles and organization of education. However, these elements of educational process should literally permeate the relationship between the parent and the child, fill communication with a moral component, and build the interaction with peers and the environment. Awareness of responsibility for the results of the child's development requires the permanent participation of parents in his/her life, the formation and strengthening of self-confidence, sensitive attention to child’s successes and failures and behavioural correction by the consistent application of encouragement and punishment.

Keywords: Adolescents, deviant behaviour, educational institutions, offenses, prevention, psychological correction


The parental non-involvement in growing up and adulting processes of their own children, their own perception and world cognition, indifference, disrespect, rudeness, cruelty, family discord and scandals, harmful addictions plus other asocial and antisocial behaviour lead to such adverse consequences as child’s aloofness from the family, isolation, spiritual emptiness, increased anxiety, conflict, the aggravation of problematic situations, independent search for ways to solve it and not always finding the right options for this; low level of claims and primitive ways to satisfy them. A socially healthy family is always “on the alert”, always ready and able to engage in overcoming the difficulties that arise in the course of the child’s socialization, including through joint efforts with other social (formal and informal) institutions. The disadvantages of family upbringing, on the contrary, most often result in problems of the interaction of social institutions not only with the children themselves, but also with their parents. In the Russian state, a huge role in the upbringing of children is assigned to educational institutions: upbringing is recognized as a primary component of the educational process, along with training (Mazalova, 2016). When carrying out educational work, modern educational institutions (kindergartens, schools, boarding schools) are empowered to identify disadvantaged families with the subsequent organization of social assistance for them; to involve employees of social protection agencies, guardianship and guardianship authorities, and law enforcement agencies in joint work with such families; to ensure close interaction between psychologists and parents; to organize leisure activities for teenagers; to hold joint contests for children and their parents. These areas of activity become especially relevant when it comes to the so-called “difficult” children and families of the social risk group. Having discovered the shortcomings of family upbringing, the educational institution is more actively involved in the socialization of such children, tries to fill the gaps and flaws that have formed in it, and most importantly tries to involve parents in the appropriate process, because, one way or another, the participation of the family is crucial. However, the response to such a social request of an educational institution is often ignorance, indicating complete indifference of the parent to the child and his future, or a conflict with the school, expressed in the parent’s approval of the child’s antisocial behavior, rejection of the balanced and realistic position of the educational institution and thus the formation of parental pseudo-authority.

The lack of such parental involvement in the child’s life, often due to the infantilism of adults, the immaturity of their parental principles, the low level of pedagogical culture as part of the general culture of an individual, can be compensated by sincere parental feelings and their own example of behaviour. Recognizing the latter as one of the best ways of upbringing, the pedagogical community unanimously notes that a child is brought up not only when talking to him, but also when he observes from the outside how parents interact with other people, rejoice, feel sad, dress, prepare for something, read and even keep silent. At first, the child simply copies the actions of adults, and in the future, the knowledge, value orientations and interaction skills acquired by him in the family are projected onto his relationship with society, including his own family that he has already built in the future.

The creation of a favorable home atmosphere, the manifestation of unconditional love, benevolence, care, and other positive emotions to the child, an active and healthy lifestyle of parents, friendly and correct interaction with other people, emotional responsiveness to other people’s problems, a responsible attitude of adults themselves to their duties and obligations indicates the existence of a not always conscious, but necessary educational influence in the family.

Problem Statement

The results of children’s socialization in families are not always positive. A significant number of families in Russia (up to 25 %) are generally unable to socialize children in a positive way, and many families (up to 15 %) form offenders. If almost any family is suitable for a child to undergo spontaneous socialization, then education as a socially controlled socialization can provide only a relatively small number of Russian families: according to various data, with a fairly serious spread, from 20 to 60 % (Mudrik, 2007). The child’s socialization is not limited only to the family, it continues in many other social institutions and organizations – primarily educational, but also cultural, sports, volunteer, confessional, including informal ones, the number and range of which becomes larger and more complex as the child grows up and develops independence, expanding his/her interests in life.

As a part of their educational activities, schools create certain conditions for the development of children in accordance with socio-cultural, spiritual and moral values; the behavioural rules and norms accepted in society, forming the feelings of patriotism, citizenship, respect for the memory and exploits of defenders of the Fatherland, law and order, the older generation, mutual respect, solicitous attitude to cultural heritage and the environment (Yakymchuk et al., 2019). The decisive factor determining the success of any educational process is the educational institution interaction with the family of each individual student (Makarova & Vostretsova, 2010). Moreover, the close cooperation between the school or university and the family makes it possible to identify the tendency of a teenager to socially harmful or dangerous behaviour and to take timely measures to prevent it. The study by a scientist from Kosovo is quiet interesting in this aspect as it states that successful cooperation between school and family contributes to the prevention of violence among students (Mulliqi, 2020).

Unfortunately, in modern Russian conditions, such interaction is often either absent or vulnerable. It should not be omitted that the reason for this is sometimes the lack of professionalism by the administration or teachers in educational institutions: the denial of educative principle in the academic process and the interpretation of the latter only as a teaching activity; the use of authoritarian rhetoric and patronizing tone communicating with parents; the practice of ultimatum influencing on the family and the lack of an individual approach (Makarova & Vostretsova, 2010).

Research Questions

Educational mistakes made by families, educational establishments and other social institutions become the fertile ground for the so-called alternative agents of socialization (Makarova & Vostretsova, 2010). So, quiet often the real danger to moral, mental and physical development of children and adolescents is the Internet environment, which they themselves, as a rule, do not realize. This is primarily due to the content of certain Internet resources that are harmful for the health and / or development of children: incitement to suicidal behaviour; propaganda of drugs, alcohol, smoking, prostitution; scenes of violence and cruelty to people and animals; justification of illegal behaviour; information of a pornographic nature, and many other forms. Due to the Internet information dissemination the danger of which children are not able to realize, they often become either a "bargaining chip" in harmless or illegal actions of adults, or victims of someone's criminal actions (inciting to commit a suicide or facilitating its commission, sexual abuse, fraud, extortion, involvement in prostitution, illegal trafficking of pornographic materials). Criminal, quasi-religious, extremist and other organizations carrying out dissocial education can have a huge negative impact on the results of a child's socialization (Mudrik, 2007). Taking advantage of the pedagogical neglect and difficult psychological state of a teenager, these groups attract young people with the opportunity to assert and express themselves; to receive recognition, which was denied to them in a normal society; to make up for loneliness, uselessness, life dissatisfaction; or, on the contrary, to reward increased ambitions that were not promptly directed in a positive way. A common outcome of a teenager's participation in such organizations is the victim status of a crime or a criminal. The omissions of the family and society in the socialization of a teenager become risk factors that prevent the successful formation of his personality, healthy integration into the society and require the adoption of preventive and rehabilitative measures (Tintori et al., 2021). The disregard of these factors increases the likelihood of self-destructive behaviour of a teenager (suicidal, victimized, risky, fanatical, dependent on the consumption of food and psychoactive substances, etc.), committing unethical, immoral or illegal, and criminal acts. There is an independent science called deviantology helpful in the study of such social deviations, in which a deviant behaviour is defined as an act, or actions of a person (group of persons) that do not correspond to officially established or actually existed norms and expectations in a given society (culture, subculture, group) (Gilinskiy, 2021).

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the research is to identify and examine the formation tendency of adolescent deviant behaviour studying in closed educational institutions in Saratov, as well as to assess the degree of maladjustment, the level of self-esteem, and parental attitude in the presented group.

Research Methods

A study was conducted on the basis of a Cadet boarding school among 126 boys (49 people 11–12 years old, studying in 5–6 grades, and 77 people 14–16 years old, studying in 8–10 grades) and 98 parents. The following methods have been used:

  • a test for deviant behaviour tendency (E.V. Leus) to assess the level of maladaptation by adolescents with different types of deviant behaviour;
  • test-questionnaire for determining the level of self-esteem (S.V. Kovalev);
  • test-feedback form of parental attitude (A.Ya. Varga, V.V. Stolin).

The diagnosing method of deviant behaviour measures the readiness of adolescents to implement various forms of deviant behaviour: socially conditioned, delinquent, dependent, aggressive and self-harming. This test consists of 75 questions divided into 5 blocks, which allows not only differentiating deviant behaviour by the main types of its manifestation, but also assessing its degree.


This research helps to identify general age-related trends in various kinds of deviant behaviour (Beregovaya et al., 2019). Younger and older pupils show a focus on socially desirable behaviour, which confirms their desire to be noticed, accepted and understood. Rather high indicators of aggressive behaviour manifested in verbal and physical aggression directed at other people, have been also revealed. The deviant behaviour predisposition is shown to a greater extent in adolescents aged 14–16 years, which indicates that they are ready to commit antisocial acts that contradict legal norms. An alarming fact is the tendency of both age groups to self-harming behaviour, leading to physical injuries and suicidal thoughts. It should be noted that the habit for dependent behaviour is slightly expressed, which may reflect the degree of preventive work by educational institutions. The self-assessment of adolescents in the selected age groups has been measured according to the method of S. V. Kovalev. The results show that both groups were dominated by boys with low self-esteem. The study of child-parent relations is conducted according to the questionnaire of parental relations, consisting of 61 questions and including 5 scales: "acceptance-rejection", "cooperation", "symbiosis", "authoritarian hyper socialization" and "little loser". It was found out that the parents of adolescents participated in this study have a low level of awareness about parenting styles and methods, which is manifested in child’s rejection, irritation, lack of encouragement and imposition of their own view point.


The sociological analysis of adolescent deviation makes it possible to develop more effective social technologies of psychological and pedagogical influence on children prone to deviant behaviour, and recommendations for this prevention. This process consists of monitoring risk factors that can have a negative impact on the adolescent. First of all, it is necessary to control the families of adolescents, because it is the family that states values and behavioural stereotypes and forms the emotional background of a teenager (Musina et al., 2020). After identifying the children who need psychological and pedagogical help, the reasons for the teenagers’ deviant behaviour are analysed and measures for preventive work are determined. The necessary aspect of deviant precaution should involve the participation of adolescents in the whole class cooperative work and the school life in which they study in general in order to prevent student’s poor performance.

So, the gaps in the socialization of a teenager made by the family and society (educational institutions, environment, social networks, etc.) become risk factors that prevent the successful formation of his personality, healthy integration into society and require preventive and rehabilitation measures. Ignoring these factors increases the likelihood of adolescent self-destructive behaviour (suicidal, victimized, risky, autistic, fanatical, dependent on food and psychoactive substances, etc.), committing immoral or illegal acts, including criminal ones. To study these social deviations, there is an independent science called deviantology or, in other words, the sociology of deviance and social control.


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31 January 2022

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Bogdanova, T. M., Kobzeva, E. V., Blinova, V. V., & Semenova, V. A. (2022). The Role Of The Family In Preventing Deviant Adolescent Behaviour. In S. Afanasyev, A. Blinov, & N. Kovaleva (Eds.), State and Law in the Context of Modern Challenges, vol 122. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 119-124). European Publisher.