Student crises and aspects of socio-psychological assistance

Odeta Merfeldaitė

Abstract


Teenage crisis leaves a deep impact in a student's mind. Assistance in tackling the psychological crisis provides for the development of personality, since each critical experience initiates personal emotional maturity. The inability to tackle crisis leads to persistent crisis and creates conditions for nonadaptive functioning of an individual (Plužek, 1996). Since teachers see children every day and can easily observe changes in their behaviour, they should learn to recognize symptoms of crisis in due time and provide the immediate assistance, in order to prevent serious consequences. The objective of this article is to analyse the most frequent crises experienced by upper-grade students and aspects of sociopsychological assistance provided at school.
Tasks: 1) to define the concept of crisis and specify its features; 2) to analyse the concept of socio-psychological assistance and specify its levels; 3) to identify crises most frequently experienced by upper-grade students and specialists providing assistance; 4) to review possible means of assistance to children experiencing crisis in school.
Object of the survey: student behaviour in critical situations
Methods: questionnaire survey
The theoretical part deals with analysing the concept and process of crisis. The empirical part provides statistical data on crises most frequently experienced by upper-grade students, crisis resolution, students' attitude toward socio-educational and psychological assistance in school, and the relationship between students' feelings, self-confidence and confidence in teacher's experience in dealing with crisis.
Main conclusions: 1) crisis can be defined as a person‘s response to a difficult and emotionally significant situation in life which requires new ways of adaptation and resolution. In crisis a person experiences huge psychological discomfort followed by such feelings as despair, helplessness, fear, tension, anxiety, depression and fluster. 2) The process of crisis is very complex (irritant, stressor), which arouses feelings of helplessness, anxiety and tension. The child's adaptation or crisis resolution is determined by the child's personal qualities, family, school, and the influence of safety and risk factors in the environment. 3) Usually, upper-grade students encounter learning, psychological and physical violence and family crisis problems. Self-confident students have fewer learning difficulties when their needs are met and when they trust their teachers and their ability. Hence, they are less exposed to problems of psychological violence. 4) Therefore, in crisis up to one fourth of the students do not seek any help, one fourth seek help from one of their parents, one fifth turn to their friends, one tenth - to a psychologist, teacher, class tutor and/or counselor. 5) Primary prevention at school is usually rendered by a social counselor and/or class tutor. Secondary prevention of learning problems is usually provided by a social counselor and/or class tutor; concerning problems of physical violence – by a psychologist; on family crises – by a social counselor and/or psychologist.

Keywords


pupil; student; crisis; crisis intervention; assistance; socio-psychological assistance

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789