Kislyakov P. A. (2017). Risk factors related to antisocial behavior in teenagers with intellectual disabilities. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10(2), 215-227.
Background. Throughout the ontogenic development period and life journey, everyone faces numerous threats and challenges. Certain of these challenges are beyond the individual’s control and are caused by social and environmental factors, but others, conversely, are provoked by the individual’s own lifestyle and mental and/or physical health condition. This paper considers how the social adaptation of children with intellectual developmental disorders affects the development of various forms of socially dangerous behavior.
Objective. The primary goal of the study described in the article is to identify and analyze the potential risk factors related to antisocial behavior among teenagers with intellectual disabilities (mental retardation) based on a survey of teachers in special (correctional) schools.
The methodological basis of our research uses the provisions of Lev Vygotsky’s theory of socialization among children with intellectual disabilities. This article shows the importance of implementing Lev Vygotsky’s doctrine of correction and compensation of disturbed psychological, emotional and social development of schoolchildren with intellectual disabilities.
Design. To achieve this purpose, the following methods were used: interviews, questionnaires, and factor analysis. In the first stage of the study, interviews were conducted with teachers working in special (correctional) schools (teachers, child and youth counselors, school psychologists, developmental pediatricians) — of 108 teachers from 10 schools. Analysis of the interviews revealed a list of risk factors related to antisocial behavior among teenagers with intellectual disabilities (only 35 points). The collected data formed the basis for a questionnaire, “Social Safety for Children with Intellectual Disabilities”. In the second stage, 83 teachers working in the special (correctional) schools were surveyed. The survey was completed by teachers of children (12-13 years old) who had a diagnosis of F70 (Mild mental retardation) or F71 (Moderate mental retardation). To determine the significance of risk factors, the respondents were asked to assess children’s exposure to risk factors on a 5-point scale. In the third stage, the results of the risk factor assessment conducted in relation to socially dangerous behavior of adolescents with intellectual disabilities were processed using the factor analysis.
Results. From the factor analysis of the data collected, as well as an analysis of the relevant theoretical and methodological materials, the following risk factors (with load factors) of socially dangerous behavior among teenagers with intellectual disabilities were identified: antisocial behavior (violation of generally accepted societal norms) (48.7 %); asociality (the lack of motivation to engage in social interaction) (7.96 %); infantilism (5.9 %); social mistrust in the world (4.86 %); propensity for victimizing behavior (4.18 %); virtual addiction (3.98 %); and high self-concept discrepancies (3.14 %).
Conclusions. The results of our research may be used to prevent antisocial behavior in teenagers with intellectual disabilities through the implementation of psychological and pedagogical follow-up programs aimed at preventing antisocial and asocial behavior, overcoming infantilism and victimization, forming adequate self-esteem, and forming personality-trusting relationships with significant adults and peers.
About the authors: Kislyakov, Pavel A.
Themes: Clinical psychology
Keywords: intellectual disabilities, teenagers, socialization, social safety, risk factors, antisocial behavior, psychological and pedagogical support