Institute of Pedagogy and Psychology, Kostroma State University,
Background. Issues regarding close relations became especially prevalent within the context of the pandemic, due to the forced separation of these relationships. This is now seen as a significant stressor that influences emotions and subjective perceptions of the relationship.
Objective. The current study aims to investigate the specifics of coping with the forced separation of partners with varying types of closeness.
Design. The study was carried out with quantitative and qualitative methods. The sample included 43 women and 42 men (aged 21-47); all were involuntarily separated from their partners by impacts of the pandemic.
Results. Three scenarios of romantic relationships were identified based on a balance of love components (intimacy, passion, commitment) and prevalent feelings (closeness or distance). The authors concluded that certain coping strategies (positive reassessment, acceptance, distraction) can help the individual to cope with the separation, but do not contribute to the closeness of the partners and the strengthening of the relationship. Coping primarily through active support was typical for partners with intense and balanced feelings based on closeness (Scenario 3). Ambivalent feelings toward a partner (Scenario 1) were associated with passive coping, which increased the risk of detachment. The moderate manifestation of balanced love components and closeness (Scenario 2) focused on acceptance of the situation, positive reassessing, and distraction, all of which reduce the stress of separation, but cause anxiety regarding the future of the relationship.
Conclusion. The type of close relationship has been found to correlate to the coping strategy adopted by the couple following forced separation during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, further studies are required to investigate separation in various social contexts, not only in isolation due to the pandemic, as well as its connection to psychological well-being.
Keywords: forced separation/ close relationship/ relation stresses/ coping behaviour
Contemporary psychological and pedagogical studies pay special attention to the socialization of physically impaired children, inclusive education and methods of providing such children with a safe environment to assist in their development. However, difficulties in interpersonal communication experienced by children with health impairments have remained beyond the research scope. The authors conducted a comparative analysis of communication difficulties in typically developed teenagers aged 12-13 years (n = 100) and the problems faced by their peers with visual (n = 30), auditory (n = 30), speech (n = 25) and motor (n = 15) impairments. Actual communication difficulties in teenagers were studied in two ways: the subjective component of impaired communication was registered through a content analysis of a sentence completion test and the objective manifestations of impaired communication were identified through expert evaluation of children’s communicative behavior (educators and psychologists who had been in close contact with the teenagers acted as experts).
First, the authors identified typical standard communication problems that were characteristic of teenagers aged 12-13 years, that is, problems with aggression, tolerance, the ability to admit wrongdoing and make concessions, empathy, self-control, self-analysis and self-expression in communication. Second, typical communication difficulties characteristic of physically impaired children were revealed: failure to understand meaning; feelings of awkwardness and shame of oneself; expectations of a negative attitude toward oneself; gelotophobia; and manifestations of despotism, petulance and egotism as defensive reactions in situations of impaired communication. Third, the authors described specific communication difficulties in teenagers with auditory, visual, speech and motor impairments.
Keywords: impaired communication, communication difficulties, health impairments, teenagers, objective component of impaired communication, subjective emotional experiences