Background. This study is an attempt to identify psychological markers for pupils’ maladaptive states. Аggression is seen as behavior while aggressiveness is seen as the state of being ready for such behavior. Anxiety is considered a stable personality trait. Two hundred and sixty pupils of the 8th grade from five different schools took part in the research. Schools that have a selection principle for admission are called prestige schools.
Objective. The purpose of this study was to discover correlations between trait anxiety and aggressiveness among adolescents in different types of educational institutions. At the same time, we were interested in manifestations of maladaptive perfectionism and destructive personality tendencies as revealed by quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Design. The first stage of the study was a survey to define risk groups for hostility and anxiety among the adolescents. All tests except the one for sociometry were done on an individual basis. The second stage included methods for qualitative analysis of personality. The pupils from identified risk groups were paid special attention. We were interested in the recurrence of destructive personality tendencies as they appeared in each method.
Results. About one third of all the participants from four out of the five schools formed the hostility risk group. In the prestige and non-prestige schools alike, hostile adolescents were more likely to find themselves at least somewhat isolated in their social group (class). Hostile teenagers have more self-esteem problems and issues with forming a Self-concept in general, as well as pronounced destructive personality tendencies in some cases. However, the pictures of trait anxiety in prestige and non-prestige schools were different. Hostile teenagers from non-prestige schools were more likely to greatly underestimate their intelligence and communication skills. In this case, according to the teachers’ expert opinion and the results of participant observation, that assessment reflected the reality. The hostile teenagers at the prestige educational institutions presented a different picture of trait anxiety. Objectively, the achievements of these pupils were great, but they constantly procrastinated, didn’t believe in success, and had communication problems.
Conclusion. This study has shown that the markers of a pupil’s maladaptive state are trait anxiety (school, interpersonal, self-esteem), hostility, and maladaptive perfectionism.
Keywords: Aggressiveness/ hostility/ trait anxiety/ perfectionism/ destructive tendencies of personality