The prevention of deviant behaviour of minors is a key task in the prevention of delinquency. In the mechanism of legal regulation of preventive activities in relation to persons with deviant behaviour, a significant place is given to health authorities and medical organizations. Deviant behaviour of persons under the age of 18 negatively affects their personal development, which in turn is a catalyst that contributes to the illegal behaviour. Socio-political and economic changes in our country entail a restructuring of human consciousness and psychology. Adolescents are most sensitive to these changes, and it is at this age that there is a sharp increase in conflicts with the older generation, the use of narcotic, psychotropic and alcoholic drugs. In the course of the work, 148 students of the Saratov boarding school were interviewed. Based on the results of the survey, conclusions were drawn about the implementation of a set of preventive measures aimed at preventing and correcting the identified changes at the level of the family and/ or educational institution, i.e. mandatory corrective measures with the child and his family members, as well as regular (daily) work of a clinical psychologist in each educational institution. The urgency of the stated problem is confirmed by the increase in the number of adolescents with behavioural deviations and those registered with the commissions for juvenile affairs and the protection of their rights. Therefore, the prevention of deviant behaviour is one of the important tasks of lawyers, psychologists, teachers and doctors.
Russian state policy on minors has always been a reflection of the state’s strategy to ensure their safety. The 21st century is a period of reforms in all spheres of life in Russia. However, in some spheres, the negative impact of these innovations can be observed. This is primarily manifested among the younger generation in the form of an increase in the number of deviant manifestations.
Official data of state bodies indicate the stability of the level of socially dangerous behaviour of minors. So, in 2019, the number of minors registered in the juvenile affairs units of the internal affairs bodies amounted to 275,671 people. The number of minors brought to the internal affairs bodies for committing offenses amounted to 253,259 people, including 21,880 who committed crimes, 7,137 under the age of criminal responsibility who were involved in criminal behaviour, 136,433 who committed administrative offenses. A separate indicator characterizing the level of deviance of minors is their attitude to antisocial actions, the leading positions among which are given to drinking alcoholic beverages or appearing in public places in a state of alcoholic intoxication.
According to official data, in 2019, 40,699 minors were delivered to the Ministry of Internal Affairs in a similar condition. The escalation of deviant behaviour of minors is largely indicative of their pre-criminal behaviour, which, in the absence of proper preventive work, can lead to an extreme form of expression of illegal behaviour – a crime. This is supported by the 2019 reported juvenile delinquency figures. With the participation of minors, 41,548 crimes were committed, which is 4.6% lower than in 2018. Despite the current trend towards a decrease in the total number of crimes committed by this category of persons, there is an increase in the level of socially dangerous crimes committed by minors. Thus, in the overall structure of juvenile delinquency, 10,113 serious and extremely serious crimes were committed in 2019, which is 4.1% more than that in the previous year. According to judicial statistics, the structure of crimes committed by minors is made up of acts that infringe on human health, property (theft, robbery), sexual freedom and inviolability.
Deviant behaviour of persons under the age of 18 has a negative impact on their personal development, which in turn leads to continuing pattern of illegal behaviour.
The prevention of deviant behaviour of minors is a key task in the prevention of offenses, and in this matter, the activity of state bodies that develop mechanisms aimed at reducing the level of offenses and increasing preventive measures is fundamental.
In the mechanism of legal regulation of preventive activities in relation to persons with deviant behaviour, a significant place is given to health authorities and medical organizations.
A deviation in behaviour is a consequence of a violation of the process of socialization of the individual. It is during the formation of the character of a teenager that we can observe signs of deviation from the accepted behavioural norms in society.
From a medical point of view, deviant behaviour is considered as a neuropsychological problem of human health. From a psychological point of view, such behaviour is viewed as a complete disregard of reality, characterized by violating the rules and causing harm to others.
First of all, adolescents are most sensitive to changes in priorities, habits, moral and social values, and it is at this age that there is a sharp increase in conflicts with the older generation, the use of narcotic, psychotropic and alcoholic drugs.
The personality of any person is formed in society, and it is society that influences the behaviour and upbringing of the child, and, of course, the family in which a person grows up.
The so-called dysfunctional families that have a negative impact on the formation of a child’s behaviour are:
1) families with a lack of educational resources;
2) conflict families;
3) morally dysfunctional families;
4) pedagogically incompetent families.
There are three types of prevention: primary, secondary and tertiary.
The goal of primary prevention is to eliminate the negative factors that lead to the occurrence of deviant behaviour, as well as to work with a group of healthy people, in which the presence of persons from the risk group is assumed (Chibiekova, 2016; Nikitina, 2020).
Secondary prevention is the timely identification of adolescents who already have deviant behaviour, and their further rehabilitation in the form of stabilization of the physical and mental status, biochemical and physiological balance.
Tertiary prevention is aimed at reducing the likelihood of relapses in adolescents with already formed deviant behaviour (Berry & Willoughby, 2016; Ekhaeva & Ibragimova, 2016). The use of the necessary psychopharmacological assistance leads to the stabilization of physical and mental status, biochemical and physiological balance (Child and adolescent drug addiction, 2016; Hoffman, 2015; Omer et al., 2016).
The main idea of the psychological characteristics of the character can be learned in detail from personal techniques, such as the Eysenck Personality Inventory, a self-report instrument designed to measure the level of anxiety. The urgency of the stated problem is confirmed by the increase in the number of adolescents with behavioural deviations and those who are registered with the Commission on Juvenile Rights and Affairs; therefore, the prevention of deviant behaviour is one of the important tasks of lawyers, psychologists, teachers and doctors (Fetiskin et al., 2002).
Purpose of the Study
The research is aimed at identifying and studying the features of deviant behaviour in adolescents studying in boarding schools in Saratov.
The prevention of neuropsychiatric diseases is aimed at using of experimental psychological methods (tests). The main idea of the psychological characteristics of the character can be learned in detail from personal techniques, such as the Eysenck Personality Inventory, a self-report instrument designed to measure the level of anxiety.
One of the methods of studying and identifying risk factors for deviant behaviour is a questionnaire survey of adolescents, using experimental psychological methods (tests). These methods give an idea of the psychological characteristics of the individual that play a key role in the development of deviant behaviour. In addition, medical and genetic counseling, as well as drawing up a pedigree with predicting the development of certain mental disorders and / or the psychological sphere of a person are used (Velichko & Tatarintseva, 2019; Vlasova 2019).
An important idea about the psychological characteristics of the character can be learned in detail from personal methods, such as the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, the method for identifying the level of anxiety (Fetiskin et al., 2002).
In our work, a combination of the following questionnaires was used to study the deviant behaviour of adolescents: “Questionnaire: causes and motives of deviant behaviour of adolescents”; “Questionnaire aimed at identifying the most common types of deviant behaviour of adolescents” and “Deviant Behaviour Research Plan”. 148 students of the 5th, 9th, 10th and 11th grades of the municipal boarding school of Saratov participated in the survey. The age of the respondents ranged from 10 to 18 years, both sexes. Parents and legal representatives of the students were informed about the survey. The survey was conducted in the presence of a school psychologist.
Analysing the data obtained, we can say that in the families of 5th grade students, 21 % (of whom 13 % are girls and 8 % are boys) often have parents quarrelling and abusing alcohol, while in the families of high school students, these facts are either not observed, or are noted in insignificant number of cases. At the same time, it should be noted that the male respondents in all age groups are subjected to psychological pressure from their parents (e.g. profanity, offensive language, etc.).
Thus, students daily encounter conditions in their families that contribute to the development of deviant behaviour, which primarily manifests itself in the form of conflict situations with their classmates – the ratio between boys and girls is 35 and 42 % (mostly among younger students). For senior students, this percentage is significantly lower.
Considering relationships in the family, it should be noted that students of all grades have sufficient confidence in their parents and talk with them about the problems that arise in their lives. However, boys in grades 5 and 9 tend to avoid discussing their problems with parents, because they face a lack of understanding on the part of their relatives, which leads to “leaving” the family to resolve the issues with the help of their peers.
The reasons for the current situation in a third of 11th grade boys are that 22 % of parents do not understand and do not delve into the psychological difficulties of their children, 26 % of parents think that any existing problem must be kept to oneself, 26 % do not communicate with their children at all, except for providing material support. Among high school girls, the percentage of mistrust is much higher: 82 % of respondents keep their problems to themselves. When asked about the number of friends, students in grades 5 and 11 answered that there are many and most of them have positive psychological qualities. Moreover, 6 % of girls have older friends. The exception is the respondents of the 9th grade, who in 64 % have practically no friends and their social circle is very narrow and unstable, with superficial relationships.
The consumption of alcoholic beverages once a week was noted by male students in the 10th and 11th grades in 22 %, 35 % consumed alcoholic beverages 1–2 times a month, according to the survey. Among the respondents of the 5th grade, there were rare cases of drinking alcoholic beverages. If we talk about smoking among secondary school students, the following survey results were obtained: 5th grade boys tried smoking in 13 % of cases, drug use in 4 % of cases; 9-graders of both sexes tried smoking several times (10 % boys and 7 % girls), but did not use narcotic and psychotropic drugs.
The surveyed boys of the 10th and 11th grades who smoke on a permanent basis constitute 13 %; those who tried several times – 57 % of the respondents; 9 % repeatedly took narcotic drugs.
The statistics of offenses in the surveyed persons showed that girls in grades 5 and 11 never committed such actions, while students in grades 9 and 10 of both sexes committed offenses: grade 5: theft – in 100 % of cases, grade 9 boys steal in 35 % of cases, theft – 35 %, hooliganism – 30 % of cases. Girls in the 9th grade: theft – 24 %, 61 % – school evasion; 11-graders boys: 24 % – theft, 28 % – beatings, 315 – theft, 15 % – the use of alcoholic beverages, psychotropic and narcotic drugs in public places, 2 % – harm to health.
Thus, based on the results of the above described survey among students of the 5th–11th grades, there is a tendency to develop deviant behaviour at an early school age (students of the 5th grade). Most likely, this is due to the fact that it is from the 5th grade that education begins in a boarding school, and for a child, a change of educational institution (especially a closed type), a new society, new demands from peers and teachers leads to a change in the psychological and emotional characteristics of the child, contributes to an increase in their level of anxiety, a decrease in stress resistance, and a violation of adaptation processes.
In addition, children regard the fact of transfer to a closed educational institution as a kind of gesture of “betrayal” on the part of parents. Consequently, students begin to develop deviant behaviour to attract attention of adults to their problems. The situation in the family where a child is brought up is still a crucial factor in the formation of deviances. First of all, this concerns the deviant behaviour of the parents themselves, which, of course, leads to the same behavioural features in their children. The difference in the behavior of students in the lower grades and the 9th grades, as opposed to the 11th grade, is that parental control weakens by the 11th grade, the puberty period begins in adolescents: a time of confrontation “with everyone” and for any reason; the lack of authority.
Summarizing all the above, it should be noted that the family and its values, as well as the surrounding society, play a significant role in the formation of deviant behaviour. The pace of modern life, rapidly changing economic and political relations in the world lead to a lack of time for parents to communicate with their children and raise them, shifting the educational process to school, which in turn results in the formation of deviant behaviour among children.
Analysing this problem, it seems necessary to carry out a set of preventive measures aimed at preventing and correcting the detected changes at the level of the family and/or educational institution. These measures include systematic questioning and psychological testing of schoolchildren at all stages of training. If psychological and / or psychiatric deviations are detected, it is mandatory to carry out corrective measures with the child and his family members, as well as regular (daily) work of a clinical psychologist in each educational institution.
In addition, it is necessary to involve adolescents in various social events, teach the young generation a healthy lifestyle, taking into account somatic and psychological characteristics.
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31 January 2022
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Evstifeeva, E. V., Bogdanova, T. M., Blinova, V. V., & Semenova, V. A. (2022). Features Of Deviant Behaviour Of Adolescents. 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. 196-201). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2022.01.32