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The Complex Support and Assistance to Children with Disability and their Families in the Czech Republic and the Presentation of Case Final Reports on Early Care of Client as an Example of Good Practice

Abstract

The theme of the paper is very topical in global and European context. It brings theoretical information on the concept of asocial model of early care in the Czech Republic and practical case studies and final reports related to the early care provision which demonstrate tangible activities within the system of the complex support and assistance to children with disability and their families. The author applies the theoretical-practical approach as she is of the opinion that „the practice without theory is as a blind person on the road and the theory without practice is as a cart without an axle”.

The aim of the paper is to extend theoretical information on the topic in the Czech Republic by individual examples of final reports related to the provision of social prevention of the early care in the Czech Republic. The overall aim of the paper is to justify topicality and eligibility of early care in its broad reference framework, including its practical impact. The theoretical basis of the paper is elaborated with respect to the analysis and comparison of Czech and foreign literature, legislation, methodology document and other relevant written resources. The practical level is elaborated with respect to 3 cases and final reports of the provider of an early care of the social prevention.

The early care in the Czech Republic represents a professional, modern and recognized system in European and global comparison and is legally anchored in the Act 108/2006 Coll. on social services. It aims on the minimization of child´s disability impact upon child´s development, especially the social inclusion of a child and a family and their capability to cope with limitating disability in natural environ, i.e. by the preservation of standard way of life. It represents a multi-dimensional model, overcoming limitation of sectoral division of the early care and facilitating complex assistance from a series of subject fields at the same time.

Services for families with an endangered child in early age are the background for social, educational and pedagogical inclusion of a child and the re-socialisation and re-inclusion of a family.

Early care is considered preventive, from the point of the prevention of the second disability (i.e. is effective), in the prevention of institutionalized and asylum care (i.e. is economical), in the prevention of segregation (i.e. is ethical).

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Coping Strategies of Intellectually Gifted and Common Adolescents Attending Grammar School in the Context of the Personality Dimensions Structure

Abstract

Introduction: The aim of the present research was to find out the frequency of use of particular coping strategies by intellectually gifted and common adolescents and to evaluate this frequency in the context of the personality structure.

Methods: The sample consisted of 253 pupils attending grammar schools in Bratislava from 14 to 18 years of age. According to own criteria, 85 of them were identified as exceptionally intellectually gifted. They included those who scored 120 and more at least in 2 from 3 subtests IST-R-2000 (Words, Numerical Scale, Cubes), or who had an average score at least 120 in the given subtests. The intellectually gifted children were compared with children with common intellect in the frequency of use of particular coping strategies (CSI copying questionnaire). Moreover, we investigated a relationship between these strategies and personality traits (NEO-FFI) separately in the group of gifted children and separately in the group of pupils with a common intellect.

Results: Gifted pupils use social isolation strategy significantly more often and, on the contrary, they use considerably less the social support strategy than pupils with normal intellect. A significant moderately strong correlation (>0.35) of neuroticism with problem solving (negative), escape into fantasy and self-criticism, furthermore, extraversion with social support and social isolation (negative), and finally, conscientiousness and problem solving was indicated in gifted children. As far as common pupils, such correlations have been demonstrated between neuroticism and escape into fantasy and self-criticism, and between conscientiousness and escape into fantasy (negative).

Limits: The selected criterion for intellectual talent can be set to a higher level in the future. The intellectual talent was evaluated only by 3 subtests of IST-R-2000.

Conclusion: Gifted pupils in stressful situations more often tend to withdraw in comparison to common pupils. The personality dimensions – neuroticism, extraversion and conscientiousness are in relationship with management strategies. On the basis of the results, it can be assumed that the personality structure of gifted pupils is more strongly associated with the frequency of use of coping strategies than in common pupils.

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Perception of Family in Adolescents and Young Adults in Substitute Care

Abstract

The present paper primarily focuses on the perception of the concept of family in adolescents and young adults in substitute care and its perceived values. The main aim is to describe the theoretical framework and the basis for understanding how a child in substitute care and a child growing up in the biological family perceive the family. The authors carried out a research project on the given subject, whereas, its aim was to examine the perceptual and value apparatus of a child growing up in substitute care in relation to the family construct. The collection of qualitative data was done by a semi-structured interview and adolescents´ responses were digitally recorded and transcribed. As far as examination of the close family members´ constellation, the semi-projective method – Drawing The Family Tree Test was used, whereas, it also provides information about family-related anxiety. It seems that the primary attachment figures really appear in the perception of the closest people, or in the perception of the family (not just biological) in adolescents in substitute care. Their attachment figures are often the staff of the institution in which they grow up, and parents, or biological relatives in their perception are absent. On the contrary, siblings with a similar fate belong to the close relation framework of the participants.

Open access
The Review of Instruments of Spirituality Measurement in Children

Abstract

Introduction: The aim of the present paper was to point out to the actual overview of tools used to measure spirituality in child age on the basis of an analysis of studies addressing the given issue included in the full-text database EBSCOa PsycINFO.

Purpose: The analysed studies were selected according to the following criteria: a) age range of respondents 6-11 years, that means, younger school age (studies where age of respondents included upper limit of stated age range were also accepted), b) the study included the use of a specific instrument for measuring spirituality (or selected scales), c) the study included the assessment of the psychometric properties of the instruments, d) the study was not qualitative, that means, spirituality was not measured through interviews or open questions.

Methods: Altogether, 15 research studies were analysed on the basis of which 8 instruments used for measuring spirituality in children were identified of which 3 tools (FGLL, Fisher, 2004; YSS, Sifers et al. 2012; SSSC, Stoyles et al. 2012) especially developed for use in child age (6-11 years) and 5 tools (SWBQ, Gomez & Fisher, 2003; RCOPE, Pargament et al. 2000; BMMRS, Fetzer Institute, 1999; SWBS, Ellison, 1983; FACIT-SP-12, Peterman et al. 2002) originally intended for work with the older population and used in the age group 11 years and over. The tools were subsequently described in terms of the theoretical structure, in terms of assessing the psychometric properties and assessing the quality of the tools and in terms of benefits or disadvantages when used with a child’s respondent. The theoretical bases of the instruments pointed out to the problem of the inconsistent and ambiguous definition of the spirituality construct, which is reflected in the different understanding of spirituality and its dimensions.

Conclusion: The psychometric indicators of particular instruments were evaluated and scored on the basis of selected criteria. According to the assessment, the absence of retest reliability verification, verification of some types of validity and the size of the set of validation studies was found out. From the perspective of the appropriateness of the use of tools, some tools seem to be problematic in particular to understand the particular items and omitting factors (for example family, peers) playing an important role in the spirituality of children.

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Risk and Protective Factors in the Life of Youth in Relation to Resilience

Abstract

Introduction: A certain degree of stress is present in everyone’s life and young people are not an exception. Most of them show a certain degree of resilience and can cope with stressful situations without any difficulties, however there is a group of youth who live in toxic environments and need help. If there is a risk of failure due to the intensity of stressors; external formal and informal support have a great role to play as they have the potential to prevent negative developmental outcomes.

Purpose: The authors’ intention was to make a review of available literature on the current issues of resilience research with a focus on the importance of protective factors in young people’s lives – especially when they are exposed to adversity. An emphasis is placed on the vital role of social support to individuals provided by schools as well as social services.

Methods: In the presented literature review, multiple formal search methods including hand searching of key journals; electronic searching of journal databases and subject specific websites; reference scanning; and citation tracking were used.

Conclusion: Individuals commonly demonstrate some level of resilience, yet most of them are able to deal with stressful situations without any harm. On the other hand, if the adversity is too high, the presence of social support provided by their social environment is important. In this context, good relationships in general and sufficient external protective factors provided by their social environment (schools, school psychologists, institutional social and health service providers) are important.

Open access
Theorem from My Life with Psychology

Abstract

A concise autohistoric view of the scientific psychological activity in the Slovak Academy of Sciences during the socialist totalitarian regime, and following the rebirth of democracy. Dominant experimental-laboratory psychology was then followed by empiric-life psychology. Some of the main results from both research approaches are presented, as well as theoretical-methodological syntheses. At present, the author focuses on „oral psychology” because it helps in interpreting the real development of psychology in Czecho-Slovakia. We propose to complement the international symposiums „Child in need” with similar events in the context of „Child in cultivation”.

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Actor and identity. Actor’s psychological sense of identity

Abstract

The article adopts an original approach to studying the phenomenon of the concept of “self” whose creator is the Canadian psychologist Rene L'Ecuyer. This is an idiographic method which generates data of both a quantitative and qualitative nature. The empirical studies presented in this article have been done in the milieu of professional actors and among students of theatrical schools. The results of the studies show differences in self concept in both groups. The differences between the group of students and the group of actors are of a qualitative nature and concern the number of utterances in the categories of structures, substructures and self-concept and the degree of importance of certain dimensions. In the group of actors, a difference in the hierarchy of importance of the dimension of self-concept is established. Two kinds of differences verify the hypothesis on the development of self-concept. The first is the phase of development, and the second – the level of development of self concept which the authoress suggests calling the level of the sense of identity.

Open access