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An anxiety as stable features of personality: rationale of functional determination
Author: Kaluzhnaya E.N., PhD in Psychology, Zaporizhzhya National University
The question of anxiety's phenomenology is one of the most discussed in means of theory and practice as its essence is hard to be brought to concept while the bio-social system where it emerges is quite sophisticated. As the representatives of psychoanalytical stream underline, the anxiety has a history of its own beginning from Z.Freud, K.Horney, M.Klein, H.Sallyvan.
In Ukrainian age and pedagogical psychology anxiety is viewed as one of the key parameters of individual differences that are characterized by a tendency of a person to reliving the anxious state in situations included into social context (L.І.Bozhovich, G.Sh.Gabdreєva, Ya.M.Omelchenko). It's usually underlined that the anxiety as a tendency demonstrates the person's inclination to anticipate the threat of frustration of his or her key social needs (V.M.Astapov, A.G.Miklyaeva, G.M.Prihozhan).
Depending on the studying accent, anxiety is introduced as a personal disposition which is constituted by the stress factor in action (A.Kondash, R.Martens, Ya.Neverovich, G.Selye, Ch.D.Spіlberger, Yu.L.Hanіn, P.M.Yakobson) the consequence of frustration of social needs (N.O.Amіnov, V.R.Kislovska), persistent motive and its form of its realization (L.І.Bozhovich) as a result of a person interaction with a situation and the individual interpretation features (V.M.Astapov, V.P.Simonov).
An overview of the studied materials regarding the anxiety problem in onthogenesis gives grounds for stating that the anxiety turns into a steady personal formation while being a teenager and its genesis is analyzed mostly as a reactive process and its discordant influence on personality development (Zh.M.Hlozman, O.I.Zaharov, N.V.Imedadze, N.D.Levitov, O.H.Melnychenko, A.M.Pryhozhan, Ye.R.Habirova).
However, we have to admit that this approach only highlights one aspect of the problem, leaving aside the opportunity to see the presence of any positive developmental forces in the mechanism of operation of personal anxiety. Thus, the nature of the functional links between anxiety and adaptiveness are not completely solved yet. Anxiety is characterized as an adaptive quality of the individual (A.Ye.Olshanikova, H.Sh.Habdreyeva, T.V.Zemlyakova, N.H.Kolyzayeva, I.V.Patsyavichus, V.Ye.Sarayeva, A.S.Sychevskii, O.Ya.Chebykin) and, in contrast, as a factor of disadaptiveness (N.Ye.Herasymova, L.I.Didkovska, I.H.Koshlan, L.V.Pomytkina, L.P.Ponomarenko, O.M.Reva).
In our opinion, it's heuristically useful to analyze the «quality» of anxiety not as a continuum spectrum «norm – pathology» or «health – nosology», but as an indicator of the effectiveness of psychological functioning of personality and individual development features.
Appealing to the functional aspect of the genesis of anxiety, we try to explore the factors of its substantial resistance and reproduction mechanisms on personal level. Seeing in every manifestation of anxiety an action and a reaction at the same time, we are guided by the need to explain the structural determinants of the genesis of anxiety which carry functional significance. This requires a conceptual justification for a new approach to operationalize the phenomenon of personal anxiety as the basis for the study of its functional determinants.
The implementation of the appointed task involves a qualitative understanding of the genesis of anxiety as a sequence of cognitive, emotional and behavioral changes of an internally active system from the current state toward the desired goal. If we define the functions of personal anxiety, treating them as part of its internal structure, they appear as the determinants of dynamic integration of this structure in a stable functional mechanism.
We can say that such correlation reveals the subjective profitability of the aim set and whether its relevant to achieve it. The general opinion is that moderate anxiety is adaptive. But we can agree to the fact that leveling does not provide the entire information, not like criteria along with indicators. Moderate levels are not necessarily optimal and adaptive given the individual variability of mental manifestations. Hyperfunction of anxiety speaks for the psychological hyperactivation of the individual and the lust for achievements. That is, the extremely high level of anxiety shows the individual's orientation on the result. Thus, to exclude negative consequences of hyperfunction and prevent conversion of its motivational potential to personal issue we must either increase their potential, or adjust the criteria for assessing self-efficiency. Taking this statement as true we should also accept the fact that personal anxiety stabilization at a certain level of intensity is determined and maintained by the selfactivation degree necessary to achieve the goal relevant to individual's needs.
Based on a defined theoretical position, we can formulate a conclusion that the stabilization of personal anxiety at a certain level of intensity is determined by the degree of activation necessary to achieve goals relevant to individual's age and needs. Thus, the assumption is that personal anxiety as an indicator of variability of individual perspectives is functionally determined, and hence can be attributed to adaptive personality traits.
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