Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia,
This article presents the results of a theoretical and methodological analysis and empirical study of semantic formations in the structure of a world image as factors in teenagers’ self-destructive behavior in contemporary Russian society. During the teenage years the value-semantic bases of a world image are being formed. A world image is the integral, multilevel representation of the subject, which consists of social reality and himself/herself; it exists in the mind as a unity of sensual fabrications, significations, and personalized meanings. Transformations of semantic components of a world image that are inadequate for the environment or that are externally and internally rigid can serve as preconditions for disadaptation and for one of its extreme forms—self-destructive behavior. The purpose of our empirical research was to determine the main characteristics of basic conceptual formations in the structure of a world image—that is, attitudes, intentions, motives, and values— that serve as predictors of disadaptation in modern teenagers. The teenagers in the study were born in different generations with a ten-year interval (1990–1991 and 2000–2001). Our empirical research of the semantic world-image structures that serve as bases for the self-destructive behavior of modern teenagers consisted of two phases. The first phase provided a comparative analysis of the relationships, value preferences, and basic conceptual intentions that raise the possibility of disadaptation and self-destructive behavior among teenagers. In order to perform this analysis, we analyzed data from the Character-Pathological Diagnostic Poll (PDP) of A. E. Lichko. During the second phase, a comparative analysis was carried out of the basic semantic components of teenagers’ images of the world and self-destructive and normative behavior. The main conceptual world-image structures were defined with the help of projective methods: the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and the modification for teenagers and youth (TAT-Y), which was developed by A. N. Alekhin and others. The main changes in the value-semantic orientations and personality dispositions of Russian teenagers in the late 20th to early 21st centuries were defined. The features of the semantic organization of these teenagers’ world image as a precondition for disadaptive behavior were uncovered, and the personality preconditions for their self-destructive behavior were identified: their world image is fragmentary and self-contradictory; their personality features include cognitive distortions, a negative emotional state, ambivalence of motives and disposition, and disharmony with world-image semantic structures. The indicator for social disadaptation and behavioral deviation in modern Russian teenagers is evident deformation of personal relationships as the basic cognitive structure of their world image.
Keywords: teenager, contemporary society, sociocultural transformations, socialization, personality development, self-destructive behavior, disadaptation, value orientations, semantic formations, world image