Structural Components of the Self-Concept of Adopted Adolescents

Author Name(s): Albina R. Drozdikova-Zaripova, Rumia I. Konsbaeva
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One of the most important distinctive features of adolescence is the formation of the self-concept, which is of crucial importance for all subsequent development and formation of an adolescent as an individual. The study of the self-concept of adolescents from adoptive families is not only relevant, but also socially important, which has not been adequately studied in the scientific literature. The purpose of this paper is to present the revealed features of the structural components of the self-concept (cognitive, emotional, behavioral and evaluative) of adolescents from adoptive families. The leading methods of research are the ascertaining experiment, testing and statistical processing of the results of the study. The experiment involved 26 children aged 11-16 years, brought up in adoptive families.  Results: It was found that the adolescents from adoptive families are characterized by sufficient self-awareness and ability to self-reflection. It is important for them to feel needed, but at the same time they have difficulties in choosing a model of behavior in an adoptive family environment, and their prospects for improving relations with others are controversial. Teens rate high the ability to communicate with peers and satisfaction with their status among peers. A realistic attitude toward their behavior is typical of most of the subjects, but they often display negativity towards the requirements of adults. Adolescents are uncritical to their health, to the possibilities of realizing their intellectual abilities and changing their character. System-forming indicators of the self-concept of adolescents from adoptive families are the assessment of one’s own behavior and intellectual abilities, the ability to communicate, and the popularity among peers. Relevance of the study is that its results can be an additional source for specifying and supplementing modern theories and practices on the formation of a positive self-concept of adolescents.


The study of the self-concept promotes further, conscious construction of the behavior of the adolescent. Self-concept largely determines the social adaptation of the adolescent’s personality, being also a regulator of his/her behavior and activities. Manifestations of the negative self-concept of a teenager lead to his/her social maladjustment. Having studied and analyzed various approaches to and theories of the construction of the self-concept, G.N. Svidenskaia notes that there is no single interpretation of the concept of the “self-concept”, as well as its structure, factors and mechanisms of development. The author argues that the experience of the individual plays an important role in the formation of the self-concept, in particular its socio-psychological content [1].Burns describes the self-concept as the totality of all representations of the individual about him-/herself, associated with their evaluation and treats it as a set of attitudes directed at oneself. However, since its inception, the self-concept itself becomes an active beginning, an important factor in interpreting experience, and for analyzing the structural components of the self-concept it should be considered as a set of interrelated components: cognitive, evaluative, and behavioral. There are three basic modalities of self-adjustments: a real self, a mirror self, and a ideal self [2].

The works by K. Rogers show that the self-concept is a subjective representation of a person about him-/herself, about his/her interaction with the world, and also the values associated with these concepts. Self-concept is realizable, although it is not necessarily realized and reflects those characteristics that a person perceives as a part of him-/herself, it often reflects how we see ourselves in connection with the various roles we play in life [3].Erickson considers the problem of the self-concept through the prism of ego-identity, understood as arising on the biological basis of a product of a certain culture [4].

Foreign scientists, such as A.M. Wood, J. Maltby, N. Stewart pay special attention to the cognitive and emotional component of the self-concept. Scientists hold the view that the mental state and satisfaction with the life of an individual depends on well-being, psychological self-satisfaction and the presence of positive emotions [5].

The problem of developing self-awareness and self-relationship of adolescents within and outside families was raised by such psychologists as M.Iu. Kondratiev [6], A.M. Prikhozhan [7], G.Kh. Bagandova [8], J.G. Barber & P.H. Delfabbro [9] and others.


The study of the self-concept of adolescents from adoptive families acquires not only theoretical and practical significance, but also social significance. In recent years, adoptive families in our country have increasingly become an alternative to institutional education in public institutions for orphans and children left without parental care.

Taking into account the peculiarities of the structure of the self-concept of adolescents from the foster family, it is possible to define new directions of psychological and pedagogical approaches in resolving questions on the formation of their positive self-concept.


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