1 Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
2 Don State Technical University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 4383-4388
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1169
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
In modern society, the role of continuing education as a factor of successful professionalization of the specialists increases most significantly in the conditions of rapid growth of information scope and emergence of new technologies every year. Besides, the growth of stress factors in all spheres of our life places new demands on adaptation of future psychologists in the process of their professional development. According to Erikson’s theory, adulthood covers the period from 19 until 64, i.e. almost 45 years of life. Thus, the process of social development of adults requires from them to activate their psychological resources for successful social activity, personal and professional efficiency. So, in our opinion, the study of the coping-strategies and hardiness as the psychological resources for reducing the stress factors of defense mechanisms of adult students is a pressing scientific issue. The primary aim of this study was to create a standard model of predictors of overall index of defense mechanisms, which includes coping-strategies and hardiness as independent variables able to predict this index.

The sample consisted of 90 adult students (aged 28 – 56; M = 40,47; SD = 8,26); 35 men (38,9%) and 55 women (61,1%). Some of them studied at extramural course (40 students) and some of them were the students of a professional retraining course “practical psychologist” (50 respondents). The data were collected via the Life Style Index, LSI (Plutchik, Kellerman & Conte, adaptation by Vasserman and his colleagues), Hardiness test (Maddi, adaptation by Leontiev and Rasskazova), Strategic Approach to Coping Scale, SACS (S. Hobfoll, adopted by Vodopianova and Starchenkova). We used IBM SPSS Statistics 23, Methods of Descriptive Statistics and Automatic Linear Modeling for statistical data processing. The descriptive, correlation analysis and automatic linear modeling were used (IBM SPSS Statistics 23).

The results showed that the overall index of defense mechanisms reduced in case of increasing of commitment as component of hardiness (importance=0.25; p=0.000); decreasing the frequency of usage of such coping strategies as: seeking social support (imp.=0.226; p=0.000), asocial actions (imp.=0.192; p=0.001), cautious actions (imp.=0.111; p=0.011), impulsive actions (imp.=0.105; p=0.014); also with the increasing of age (imp.=0.036; p=0.014). The standard model accuracy was 41.3%. Gender, other components of hardiness and some coping strategies were not included in the model.

One of the limitations of our study was a specific sample (adult psychology students) and we did not have a control group or groups of students from other specialties. Our results help us better understand the connection between the defense mechanisms, hardiness and coping behavior. Consequently, we can use commitment as hardiness component and some coping strategies as the psychological resources that ensure the reduction of overall level of ego defense mechanisms.
Defense mechanisms, stress, coping-strategies, constructive behavior, hardiness, adult students.