The UN Development Program annually calculates the Human Development Index for countries all around the world. According to this index, Ukraine is one of the countries with a high human capital development level and ranks 83rd in the world among 189 countries (Human Development Report/2020). The results of a survey among young people commissioned by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine in 2018 demonstrate that young Ukrainians, in particular, strive to achieve family happiness in their lives (71.7% of respondents). In Ukraine, family values are strong—the number of married people exceeds the world average, and there is a large percentage of those who can rely on relatives and friends—89.6%. The values of the family, family lifestyle and children’s well-being have been dominant values for Ukrainian youth (Mandebura, 2011).
Trust in society is an important component of the socio-psychological environment. Trust provides the bonds that hold society together; this allows social relations to prosper, and people feel safe (Marusynets, 2018). The level of trust depends on who we communicate with relatives, compatriots, neighbors or colleagues. Lower trust within the community can mean a lower sense of solidarity and community unity.
The social capital of society is formed by means of communication among different actors carried out in accordance with certain moral principles and common values. In turn, the state of social capital in society affects the nature of communication between people (Coleman, 2001). Destructive experience gained in the early stages of personality development of a child raised in an orphanage and the emotional poverty of communication lead to inability to build social relations in adult life (Chernovalyuk, 2009; Zdanevych, 2013).
Orphans’ necessities of life can be assessed only in relation to their individuality and the society they live in. The results of psychological derivation can also be assessed only in relation to the values that are valid during this period, in this society, at this stage of development.
Orphans remain one of the most socially neglected and the least psychologically protected communities in our country. In a closed-type institution, of course, there is a deprivation blockade of many parameters (Krasnozhon, 2009). Orphanage residents are characterized by a low level of psychological comfort in social security, love, communication and understanding the world around us, which leads to various psychosomatic diseases. Family-style education forms are the most favorable for holistic and harmonious development (Lukashevych, 2012).
The study of such a family-style education form as a family-style orphanage is justified by the fact that there are a significant number of adolescents residing at such institutions. In a family-style orphanage, the process of upbringing is of a holistic and individual character and is carried out until the child leaves the family, i.e. until they reach majority. A distinctive feature of family-style orphanages is the comprehensive creation of favorable conditions for an orphan that are close to family life and a nuclear family environment. A family-style orphanage is a “family that is created based on the willingness of a spouse or an individual (foster parents), who foster at least 5 orphans deprived of parental care” (Zvereva, 2012). Individuals who foster orphans and children deprived of parental care are called foster parents.
The aspect of formation of specific personal qualities of children of family-type orphanages, formation of their personal qualities, reasons of difficulties in this process and specifics of psychological support of children-orphans remains insufficiently researched.
The purpose of the article is to analyze the impact of communicative practices on the success of the socialization of orphans raised in family-style orphanages.
2. Literature Review
Modern researches confirm the importance of the family environment for the formation of mental development of the personality of a child, who is deprived of parental care. Scientists pay attention to the decrease of general mental tone, violation of self-regulation processes, passivity in certain activities, weakening of empathy, impulsive behavior, shift of indicators of emotional-cognitive interaction, intelligence of such children, etc.
The range of scientific researches on the personality of a child deprived of parental care is quite wide: the peculiarities of the use of communicative practices in the formation of personality (Marusynets, 2018); the role of self-esteem, sociometric status in the group (Ivleva, 2013; Mandebura, 2011); the problems of social adaptation, moral and legal, spiritual, aesthetic, sexual education (Lukashevych, 2012); the characteristics of personal qualities associated with mental retardation and difficulties in relationships; increasing the level of anxiety, conflict, egocentrism (Zdanevych, 2013).
Recent researches have outlined the priorities of raising orphans in family-type orphanages (Marusynets & Smuk 2018). However, the aspect of using communicative practices for successful socialization of children of family-type orphanages, determining the need for targeted psychological support in the process of their adaptation to new living conditions remains little studied.
3. Materials and Methods
3.1. The Participants of the Experiment
The study was carried out for two years (from September 2018 to October 2020) and involved children in family-style orphanages in the Trans Carpathian region. The total number of research subjects was 39 (20 boys and 19 girls). At the initial stage, the study involved 11 - 13-year-old participants.
In order to avoid errors in results interpretation related to the possible effects of the adolescents’ adaptation to the living environment, the study focused on the participants residing in family-style orphanages for at least one year. They formed the first group of research subjects: 19 people. The second group of 20 participants consisted of the adolescents living in family-type orphanages for at least two years.
3.2. Organization of the Research
September 2018, the initial stage of the research (determination of initial data);
September 2019, the first stage of the research (evaluation of the studied factors after 1 year of the experimental work);
December 2020, the second stage of the research (evaluation of the studied factors after 2 years of the experimental work).
Having previously developed a program of sociological research, we compiled a questionnaire We assessed the level of trust, respect and tolerance by evaluating psychologists, teachers, social workers, and educators’ opinions based on a survey among 87 respondents from different cities in the Trans Carpathian region (Khust, Mukachevo, Uzhhorod, Volovets, Dubove), where family-style orphanages were located.
To obtain the necessary information, the authors stuck to general scientific theoretical research methods, namely: the analysis of scientific and methodological sources, surveys, questionnaires, an expert evaluation method, a pedagogical experiment, a pedagogical observation and mathematical statistics methods.
We analyzed scientific and methodological sources to study the existing scholarly opinions on the problem of children’s socialization in family-style orphanages.
We also carried out surveys and questionnaires to identify the formation levels of the studied factors. In the pedagogical experiment and observation, we used a diagnostic technique for interpersonal relationships created by T. Leary, G. Leforge, and R. Sazek (Karelin, 2005). We employed it to explore the subject’s self-perception and idealized self-image, as well as to study relationships in small groups. Using this technique, we identified the attitude type predominating in the adolescents towards others based on self-esteem and mutual evaluation. In the study of interpersonal relationships, we identified two factors: dominance-subordination and friendliness-aggression.
The manifestation level values of the studied factors were assessed as follows:
1) Authoritativeness: 13 - 16 points: a person who instructs and teaches everyone in everything; such an individual seeks to rely on their personal opinion, cannot accept advice given by others; 9 - 12: a dominant, energetic, competent, and authoritative leader, a successful person in business who likes giving advice and demands respect; 0 - 8: a self-confident person, not necessarily a leader, who is stubborn and persistent.
2) Selfishness: 13 - 16 points: a person strives to tower above, but at the same time stands aback from everyone; they are narcissistic, independent and selfish shirking difficulties to others and treating them somewhat alienated and boastful; 0 - 12: selfish traits, self-orientation, and propensity for rivalry.
3) Aggression: 13 - 16 points: a person who is tough, sharp and hostile to others and whose aggression can come to a social behavior; 9 - 12: a person is demanding, straightforward, frank, harsh and sharp in the assessment of others; they are uncompromising, inclined to blame others, ironic and irritable; 0 - 8: a stubborn, persistent and energetic person.
4) Suspiciousness: 13 - 16: a person is estranged from the hostile and evil world, suspicious, sensitive, is prone to doubt everything, constantly complains about everyone, and is dissatisfied with everyone (schizoid character type); 9 - 12: a person is critical, unsociable, has difficulty in interpersonal relationships due to self-doubt, suspicion and is afraid of a negative attitude; they are closed, skeptical, falling into disenchantment with people, and secretive expressing negativity in verbal aggression; 0 - 8: a person is critical in relation to all social phenomena and people around.
5) Subordination: 13 - 16: a person is submissive, prone to self-humiliation, weak-willed, inclined to yield to everyone and in everything, always cast themselves aside, condemns themselves, and puts the blame on themselves; such a person is passive and seeks for support in someone who is stronger; 9 - 12: a shy, easily embarrassed person who tends to obey the stronger without considering the situation; 0 - 8: a person is modest, compliant, emotionally restrained, able to obey; they obediently and honestly perform their duties.
6) Dependence: 13 - 16: a person is, has obsessive fears, anxieties, worries about everything, therefore, they absolutely lack self-confidence, are dependent on others and their opinions; 9 - 12: a person is obedient, fearful, helpless, unable to show resistance, sincerely believes that others are always right; 0 - 8: an individual is conformal, soft, looking for help and advice, gullible and is prone to admiration for others, polite.
7) Friendliness: 9 - 16: a friendly person gracious with everyone, focused on acceptance and social approval; they strive to satisfy others’ requirements, to “be good” for all regardless of the situation, and are emotionally labile; 0 - 8: a person is inclined to cooperation and is flexible and yielding in solving problems and in conflict situations; they seek to be in harmony with the opinions of others, follow the conventions and etiquette rules in relations with people showing warmth and friendliness.
8) Altruism: 9 - 16: a person is hyper-responsible, always sacrifices their interests, tries to help and sympathize with everyone, obsessive in their help and is too active in relation to others, 0 - 8: a person is responsible for people, delicate, soft, kind; they express an emotional attitude to people through compassion, sympathy, care, kindness; they are able to cheer and calm others and are disinterested and responsive.
To analyze the obtained results we used mathematical statistics methods, namely the Page’s L Trend Test (Ermolaev, 2006). This method is used to compare indicators when there are three or more conditions and when one sample is involved in the experiment. The Page’s L test allowed us to identify trends measuring the features in the transition from a condition to a condition, to assess changes in the studied feature values; calculation of averages, to assess the need for psychological support in the formation of adolescents’ personal qualities (data processing was carried out using a statistical data processing application SPSS Statisticsv. 22).
Orphans’ necessities of life can be assessed only in relation to their individuality and the society they live in. The results of psychological derivation can also be assessed only in relation to the values that are valid in a given period, in a given society, and in a given development stage. The sociogenic need for affiliation, of course, is particularly relevant, as the issues of friendship, altruism, sacrifice and compassion among deprived children are acquiring a significant axiological status as the most valuable moral and ethical norms.
Over the first year of living in family-style orphanages, the authoritativeness level in the participants has significantly decreased (Figure 1). There is a considerable decrease in the level of selfishness resulting in high altruism indicators in this category. The “altruism” concept is closely related to the notion of “humanism”, which is the norm of social responsibility. The level of aggression has also significantly reduced as well as suspiciousness expression. There are substantial changes in subordination from the desire to find support in someone who is stronger to emotional restraint, the ability to submit, obediently and honestly perform their duties in a socially acceptable way. A reduction in the junior adolescents’ dependence is not considerable, they cannot show resistance and sincerely believe that others are always right; they are friendly and kind to everyone, focused on acceptance and social approval striving to meet the requirements of others and to “be good” for everyone regardless of the situation. The adolescents tend to cooperate reaching a compromise in solving problems and in conflict situations, they try to adjust to the opinions of others, adhere to conventions and
Figure 1. Results of communicative skills diagnostics in the first group of research subjects (11 - 12-year-old boys). Where: a: Authoritativeness; b: Selfishness; c: Aggression; d: Suspiciousness; e: Subordination; f: Dependence; g: Friendliness; h: Altruism.
etiquette rules in relations with people; they are entrepreneurial enthusiasts in achieving group goals, seek to help and be in the public limelight.
In the senior group of the adolescents, there is positive dynamics of reducing the level of authoritativeness. The level of selfishness has significantly reduced and personal decentralization is taking place. Aggression tends to decrease, but to a lower extent as compared to junior adolescents (Figure 2). Socially approving protective mechanisms are not fully formed; the manifestations of the adolescents’ suspiciousness have decreased indicating a positive tendency to form trust to the world around them. However, it is lower than in junior adolescents. There are considerable changes in the manifestation of subordination towards its socially acceptable level. There is a substantial reduction in the adolescents’ dependence. In this group, there are no statistically significant positive changes in the level of altruism.
In the junior group of 11 - 12-year-old girls, the most significant indicator is a decrease in authoritativeness and selfishness levels, although aggression indicators remain unchanged (Figure 3). There are substantial changes in subordination manifestation in the direction of its socially acceptable level. There is a considerable reduction in the adolescents’ dependence. The participants are friendly and kind to everyone, they are focused on acceptance and social approval, they strive to be in harmony with the opinions of others, direct personal activities to achieve micro-groups’ goals; they seek to help, want to be in the limelight, earn recognition and love.
Figure 2. Results of communicative skills diagnostics in the second group of research subjects (13 - 14-year-old boys) living in family-type orphanages for more than two years. Where: a: Authoritativeness; b: Selfishness; c: Aggression; d: Suspiciousness; e: Subordination; f: Dependence; g: Friendliness; h: Altruism.
Figure 3. Results of communicative skills diagnostics in the first group of research subjects (11 - 12-year-old girls). Where: a: Authoritativeness; b: Selfishness; c: Aggression; d: Suspiciousness; e: Subordination; f: Dependence; g: Friendliness; h: Altruism.
The results of the diagnosis of communication skills in the second group of subjects gave new results. There are substantial reductions in the level of aggression; the adolescents’ suspiciousness manifestations have decreased significantly as well as the level of selfishness (Figure 4). There are significant changes in the manifestation of subordination in the direction of its socially acceptable level. There is a decrease in the adolescents’ dependence. The growth of the adolescents’ friendliness is statistically significant. A lack of statistically significant positive changes in the level of altruism development in the senior group of girls is not critical.
As we can see, in all the studied groups there is positive dynamics in the development of personal qualities that play an important role in relationships with other people.
The statistical significance of such dynamics is checked using the Page’s L Trend Test. We identified the following positive changes in the development of communicative skills in the studied heterosexual groups of different ages:
a decreased level of the adolescents’ authoritativeness (Lemp = 97, p ≤ 0.01 in the junior group of boys; Lemp = 94.5, p ≤ 0.01 in the senior group of boys; Lemp = 82.5, p ≤ 0.001 in the junior group of girls; Lemp = 83.5, p ≤ 0.001 in the senior group of girls);
a decreased level of selfishness (Lemp = 98, p ≤ 0.01 in the junior group of boys; Lemp = 96.5, p ≤ 0.01 in the senior group of boys; Lemp = 84.5, p ≤ 0.001 in the junior group of girls; Lemp = 82.5, p ≤ 0.001 in the senior group of girls);
Figure 4. Results of communicative skills diagnostics in the second group of research subjects (13 - 14-year-old girls). Where: a: Authoritativeness; b: Selfishness; c: Aggression; d: Suspiciousness; e: Subordination; f: Dependence; g: Friendliness; h: Altruism.
a reduced aggression level (Lemp = 96, p ≤ 0.001 in the junior group of boys; Lemp = 92, p ≤ 0.01 in the senior group of boys; Lemp = 84.5, p ≤ 0.01 in the junior group of girls; Lemp = 80.5, p ≤ 0.01 in the senior group of girls);
reduced suspicious behavior in the adolescents (Lemp = 98, p ≤ 0.001 in the junior group of boys; Lemp = 92.5, p ≤ 0.01 in the senior group of boys; Lemp = 84.5, p ≤ 0.01 in the junior group of girls; Lemp = 81.5, p ≤ 0.01 in the senior group of girls);
positive changes in subordination towards a socially acceptable level (Lemp = 95, p ≤ 0.01 in the junior group of boys; Lemp = 97.5, p ≤ 0.001 in the senior group of boys; Lemp = 84, p ≤ 0.01 in the junior group of girls; Lemp = 83, p ≤ 0.01 in the senior group of girls);
a decrease in the adolescents’ dependence (Lemp = 95.5, p ≤ 0.01 in the junior group of boys; Lemp = 98, p ≤ 0.001 in the senior group of boys; Lemp = 84, p ≤ 0.01 in the junior group of girls; Lemp = 81.5, p ≤ 0.01 in the senior group of girls);
increased friendliness (Lemp = 95.5, p ≤ 0.001 in the junior group of boys; Lemp = 97.5, p ≤ 0.001 in the senior group of boys; Lemp = 82.5, p ≤ 0.01 in the junior group of girls; Lemp = 86.5, p ≤ 0.01 in the senior group of girls);
there is a significant increase in the level of altruism (Lemp = 77, p ≤ 0.001 in the junior group of boys). The absence of statistically significant positive changes in the level of altruism development in the senior group of boys (Lemp = 89, Lemp < Lcr) as well as in the junior and senior groups of girls (Lemp = 78, Lemp < Lcr) is not critical and is explained by the fact that the results obtained in the assessment of these groups indicate the optimal level of this personal quality development.
A specific feature of our study is the investigation of the dual influence and importance of orphans’ socialization and communication in terms of the analysis of the structure of family-style orphanages. Among the main problems of regulating orphanages’ functioning, scientists identify the following:
philosophical aspects of adaptation of orphans in an open society (Mudrakov, Polishchuk et al., 2021);
Luckman (2007) points out that the communicative process is of an ambiguous nature. On the one hand, it acts as a systemic element of social capital, and on the other, as a source of its formation. However, it is obvious that social communication plays an extremely important role in these processes. According to Stone (2001), when orphans get into a family environment, they make relatives and friends. The behavioral spectrum of models significantly expands, which in the future will have a positive impact on social adaptation and interpersonal interaction, their way of life, the communication style and relationships that form in children a role model, a standard of personal behavior.
Among the main areas of children’s socialization, scientists identify the following:
Joint socially beneficial activities (Parfanovich, Parfanovich et al., 2020);
The formation of social competence in schoolchildren in a partnership between secondary schools and families (Fedoruts, 2015);
The use of educational and developmental activities (Pharaoh, Smith, & Frantz, 2018);
Our study follows the track of and contributes to the findings of Zdanevych (2013); Parfanovich, Parfanovich, et al. (2020); Marusynets, Smuk (2018) on understanding the importance of children’s development, joint useful activities, communication, participation of adults in various games and entertainment for young people.
It is these types of joint activities that allow a teenager to put themselves in another person’s shoes, which in turn contributes to the formation of social orientation, especially understanding the role of other people. The issue of finding adequate and effective mechanisms for influencing the development of communication and socialization in orphans remains problematic. It is these elements that further contribute to their success in adult life.
Social communication is an important and, in most cases, decisive factor that contributes to the formation of social capital. It underlies such social processes as socialization, adaptation, education, self-education that influences children’s cognitive and moral development in family-style orphanages.
Our study shows that the psychological characteristics of the development process of a particular child are not an absolute indicator of the family environment effectiveness; a social environment is an equally important component.
The study of the communicative skills of the adolescents brought up in family-style orphanages showed positive dynamics in reducing the authoritativeness level. Social communication significantly reduces the level of selfishness; the process of personal decentralization is taking place resulting in the adolescents’ increased friendliness.
We believe that the most optimal solution to the problem of socio-psychological adaptation of children raised in family-style orphanages is long-term systemic support for each child in a new family, church, school or community, i.e. support provided by people around them—those they communicate, study and cooperate with.
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