Academic journal article Cognitie, Creier, Comportament

Psychosocial Maturity Statuses and Social Environment in Adolescence

Academic journal article Cognitie, Creier, Comportament

Psychosocial Maturity Statuses and Social Environment in Adolescence

Article excerpt


The psychosocial maturity status in adolescence can be covered by three indicators: subjective age, problem behavior and psychosocial maturity (Galambos & Tilton-Weaver, 2000). The aim of the article is to determine the statuses of psychosocial maturity in adolescents from orphanages, segregated Roma school, mixed school and Bulgarian school. 309 adolescent subjects are studied. Achenbach and Edelbrock Children Behaviour Checklist scale (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1979, 1991), Erikson Psychosocial Stage Inventory, (Rosenthal et. al, 1981), and Subjective Age Ouestionnarie (Montepare et. al., 1989) are used. The results show that the adolescents from the Bulgarian school were characterized by a mature status of psychosocial development, the adolescents from the segregated Roma school were characterized by an immature status of psychosocial development, and so did the adolescents from the mixed school.

KEYWORDS: psychosocial maturity statuses, subjective age, problem behavior, social environment, adolescents, Roma children

In the process of Bulgaria's accession to the European Union, one of the most important conditions for membership is the respect for human rights, including those of ethnic minorities. In this respect in the years of democracy in Bulgaria (e.g., since 1989) we started increasingly stronger to speak about the integration of minority groups. The ministry of Education and Science has taken a number of measures to ensure integration process in education (Tomova, 2011).

There are a number of problems at Bulgarian schools regarding the integration of minorities, and especially of Roma children, which are expressed in different ways:

* Children who go to school, but did not benefit from preschool training, which creates problems in the process of adaptation;

* Insufficient knowledge of Bulgarian language, which makes communication in the school environment difficult, respectively, the process of teaching in it;

* Many children do not attend or have dropped out of school - that leads to high illiteracy rate among minority groups;

* Irregular attendance at school due to economic reasons and low motivation for education.

The Bulgarian education system is not yet ready to address these problems. It's not able to provide a quality education for children from disadvantaged Roma minority groups. Therefore, it's not surprising that most of Roma children enrolled in the first grade in a mixed Bulgarian school for various reasons drop out by the end of basic educational course (Krasteva, 2008). A big part of pupils entering school are children from ethnic minorities, and this trend will increase in the future.

In its turn, the psychological literature did not reveal studies that discuss the relationship between a psychosocial mature school environment and school drop-out or segregation of Roma children in Bulgaria. By the mid-90s of the 20th century the existence of segregated "Roma" schools in Bulgaria is not noticed. Their existence is associated with the presence of Roma neighborhoods in almost all big Bulgarian cities, and the enrollment of the children in the primary education is linked to their neighborhood. The established "segregated" schools are not thought as a problem of the Bulgarian society and of the educational system as a whole. It should be noted that along with the "segregated" schools in Bulgaria there exist "mixed" schools as well - with both Bulgarians and Roma children. At the orphanages there are as well abandoned Roma children that predominate and lives together with the Bulgarian children. However, the maturity of children in this kind of social environment has not been yet studied by psychologists and social researchers. That is the aim of this article.

Psychosocial maturity

Biological models of maturity are concerned with the development over time of structures necessary for species survival and for growth and maintenance in the modal environment. …

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