Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization: monograph 9786010436671

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization: monograph
 9786010436671

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AL-FARABI KAZAKH NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

M. P. Kabakova

PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS STABILIZATION

Almaty “Kazakh university” 2018

UDC 159.9 LBC 88.4 К 11

Recommended for publication By the Academic Council of the Department of Philosophy and Political Science (№10, 28.05.2018) and RISO of the al-Farabi KazNU (№17, 05.07.2018)

Reviewers: Doctor of Psychological Sciences, Professor N.S. Akhtayeva PhD in Pedagogy and Psychology, assistant professor A.Zh. Ayapbergenova, Candidate of Psychological Sciences, associate professor Zh.K. Axakalova

Kabakova M.P. К 11 Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization: monograph / M.P. Kabakova. – Almaty: Kazakh university, 2018. – 192 p. ISBN 978-601-04-3667-1 The monograph is devoted to theoretical study and experimental research of psychological factors and mechanisms of marital relations stabilization in the process of joint life activity. The obtained data and materials presented in the monograph will serve as an addition to the courses “Psychology of Family and Marriage”, “Cross-cultural Study of Marriage and Family Relations” for students and undergraduates of the specialty “Psychology”. The work is addressed to specialists in the field of family psychology, students, undergraduates and doctoral students of the specialty “Psychology”, as well as to all who are interested in family and marriage problems.

UDC 159.9 LBC 88.4 ISBN 978-601-04-3667-1

© M.P. Kabakova, 2018 © Al-Farabi KazNU, 2018

Dedicated to the bright memory of my dear parents who showed the genuine example of love and harmony

INTRODUCTION Future of our country, directly depends on how we are bringing up our сhildren today. I am against divorces, it is necessary to nurture young people in the spirit of family values, fatality of divorces, because, children suffer from divorces first of all. Message of the President of the Kazakhstan, N.A. Nazarbayev 14th of December, 2012

The problem of marital relations stabilization and a family as a whole has become more actual than ever because of the general volatility in society throughout the world. We can solve such serious problems as the upbringing of the future generation, the transfer of cultural and spiritual heritage, the fight against crime, alcohol and drug addiction, mental illnesses on a basis of family which is psychologically safe and stable. In this regard, one of the main tasks of the Gender Equality Strategy in the Republic of Kazakhstan are “to strengthen family and marital relations, to raise the prestige of the family, promote the values of marriage and family, achieve gender equality in family relations, provide social and cultural continuity of generations which are factor of consistency of civil society and its sustainable development” (Strategy of Gender Equality in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 20062016, p.22. Approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan as of November 29, 2005 N 1677). Family is a special psychological system and subsystem of the “society” system. Family has been staying the main source of social and economic development of society. Human is produced and reproduced within the family as the main social wealth.

Introduction

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At the same time, family is a tool to meet the diverse individual needs of the person, such as spiritual, material, physiological, psychological needs. In this case, in a single psychological system “society-family-individual” family appears as an agent between the society and a person as an individual. Here family is performing the most important functions in the formation and maintenance of socially significant values, legal and moral norms of behavior. In terms of system approach, family could be analyzed in a perspectives of processes within it and processes happening with it. These approach takes in account both groups of family features as a small group and a social institution. This is the advantage of system approach analysis in “family” phenomenon. It is necessary to emphasize that contemporary processes of social and economic reorganization of society have a crucial influence on the transformation of family and marital relations and general destabilization of the family institution. Social changes in the field of family relations are enormous at the milestone of the century. They affect almost all spheres of the family’s life: from the structure (nucleation, changing the family composition due to the decrease in the birth rate) to the change in marital roles (weakening of authoritarianism, great symmetry of husband and wife functions) and family functions towards psychologizing and intimacy processes [1, p. 150]. In these conditions, in the opinion of the majority of family and marriage problems specialists the contemporary family does not cope with its basic functions. As a result, there are large number of divorces, increasing number of unhappy and problematic families, low birth rate, men and women’s loneliness, difficulties in child-rearing and much more. Therefore, there arises the need to solve the problem of stabilization and “strengthening family and marital relations in whole society and creating a strong and united family in each particular case” [2, p. 7]. The process of marital relations stabilization is determined by the psychological structure, factors and mechanisms of the life of the family as a special, unique in its kind a system that has its own unique characteristics and is viewed by us as the collective subject of joint life activity.

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Among various ways to solve the problem of marital relations stabilization, a special place is occupied by the definition of a set of measures to strengthen them, based on the actualization of the psychological and social-psychological structure and mechanisms of the stabilization process, the core of which is the consistency of family values, sets, formation and assignment by each member of the family of the “general fund of semantic formations” (GFSF) (Dzhakupov, 1992) in the process of joint life [3, p. 35]. The principal difference of this approach to the problem of stabilization of the marriage and family institution is that the formation of motivational connections between spouses (as the core of marriage and family relations) promotes the actualization of interrelations between the spouses themselves, the parents and their children, and this transforms the process of stabilization to a higher level of motivational and semantic support for the life of the whole family. At the same time, it is necessary to emphasize the role and importance of the communication process, which is the main in establishing interpersonal relations and ensuring the joint livelihoods of family members as a collective subject. The complexity of studying the family as the collective subject of joint life activity and the process of its stabilization is determined, firstly, by the fact that the family and marriage are “closed” small groups to which strangers “are not allowed to enter” (Sysenko, 1989) [4]. Secondly, such a socio-psychological phenomenon as joint activity arises only at a certain stage in the development of family and marital relations. It should be noted that this work continues and completes a number of Russian and foreign scientific researches in the field of family and general psychology and is due to insufficiently developed problem of stabilization of marital relations in conditions of joint livelihoods. At the same time, the monograph is one of the first works in the psychological science of Kazakhstan devoted to the study of the problem of marital relations stabilization. For the first time the family is considered as the collective subject of the joint life activity of individuals. The problem of marital relations stabilization is studied through the formation and development of joint life of couples, which

Introduction

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is based on the mechanisms of the process of shaping of a general semantic collection formations that appropriate to each member of the family. At the same time, it is shown that the degree of coherence of family values, attitudes, perceptions, expectations of spouses is an indicator of the formation of a general collection of semantic entities and appropriation by each partner. In general, it was revealed that the stabilization of marriage and family relations is a condition and result of joint life activity. The proposed conceptual scheme for analyzing the family and the problem of stabilization of marital relations is one of the first attempts at an integrated and systematic consideration of the psychological phenomena of “family” and “marital relations”, which allows us to identify factors and mechanisms for stabilizing marriage and family relations, enrich the theory of constructing psychotherapeutic assistance for conflictual and problem families. Within the framework of the proposed concept, definitions were introduced of such concepts as “joint life activity”, “sub-family”, “conjugal infantilism”, “stabilization”. The empirical model of the family proposed by the author as the aggregate subject of the joint life activity of individuals allows us to take a fresh look and solve many problems of the marriage and family institution, in particular, problems of constructing effective interpersonal relations between spouses, conflicts and divorces. It should be noted that the Kazakhstan psychology of family and marriage is at the stage of its formation and development, in this regard, the actualization of the problem of marital relations stabilization has great scientific and practical potential. Monographic work consists of an introduction, two chapters, conclusion, a list of sources used. In the introduction, the urgency of the problem is shown and justified, the degree of its study in science is highlighted, the novelty and practical value of the work is shown. The first chapter examines the theoretical and methodological foundations of the psychology of marital relations stabilization. The second chapter presents the results of an experimental study of psychological factors and mechanisms of marital relations stabilization in the process of joint life activity

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(based on the example of married couples with different periods of family life) conducted in the framework of the dissertation research. In conclusion, practical recommendations are given to provide timely psycho-preventive, psycho-corrective, counseling assistance to married couples, prepare young people for marriage and family life through training courses, strengthen marriage and family relations and increase the value of the family institution in society. This monograph will be interesting and useful not only for students, undergraduates and PhD students of the “Psychology” specialty, but to all those who want to qualitatively improve their family life.

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Chapter 1. Psychology of Marital Relationships Stabilization

Chapter

1

PSYCHOLOGY OF MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS STABILIZATION

At the present stage of difficult development of Kazakhstan society, the problems associated with studying and investigating the stabilization of family and marital relations are the objects of close attention of many specialists. These issues become the priority scientific area of special relevance. First of all, this is due to several facts such as increasing number of divorces and marriageable age people who consciously decide not to marry, and male and female loneliness as a result of dissatisfaction and disappointment by living together with their partners. Therefore, in order to understand the causes of this negative phenomena and to identify the main psychological factors and mechanisms for the stabilization of marital relations, it is necessary first of all to consider the features of the formation and functioning of such phenomena as: “family”, “marriage” and “marital relationships”. 1.1. Phenomenology of family: nature, features of formation and functioning The family is a priority value of any contemporary country that is interested in preserving its population, strengthening its international status and all the social and cultural institutions that create the basis of social life. The position of family, the tendencies that characterize its state (family type, marriage, childhood, etc.) are significant indicators that reveal not only the processes of the generation change, but also the general state of affairs in the country, and, eventually, the real perspectives of a concrete society. Family is one of the most ancient forms of social community, which appeared much earlier than classes, nations and countries. It has

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an inviolable value – “production and reproduction” of the immediate life, the upbringing of children, as well as the transfer of labor skills, traditions, the formation of social and individual consciousness [5, p. 3-4], refers to the number of such social phenomena, interest in which has always been stable and massive [2, p. 6]. Questions and problems concerning the nature and features of the formation and development of such social institutions as family and marriage, were relevant at all times: from antiquity to the present time. And it’s no accident and due to the fact, that family is one of the most important of the phenomena that accompanies a person throughout his/her entire life. The thinkers of the past differently approached the definition of the nature and essence of the family. According to I.V. Grebennikov, Y.I. Semenov, K. Vitek and other scientists [6; 7; 8], one of the first attempts to determine the nature of marriage-family relations belongs to the ancient Greek philosopher Platon, who considered the patriarchal family to be unchanged, and initial social unit: states arise as a result of an association of families [9]. However, Platon was not consistent in his views about family. In the projects of the “Ideal State” in order to achieve the unity of the society, he proposed the initiation of a community of wives, children and property [10]. This idea was not new. Ancient Greek historian Herodotus in his famous “History” notes, that the community of women was a distinctive feature in a number of tribes [11]. Such information was found throughout the ancient era. For example, in Platon’s works there are very specific recommendations on how to ensure a healthy offspring. In his opinion, the strongest children give birth from women between the ages of 20 and 40 from men not older than 55 years. Platon demanded that every man should marry before the age of 35, those who evade this should be fined. Along with this, he believed that the spouses should have different in temperament, as this provides a balanced offspring. Platon highlighted that the conception in a state of intoxication is unacceptable, because of difficult consequences for future children [10, p. 458-459]. Aristotle, criticizing the projects of the “ideal state”, develops the idea of Platon about the patriarchal family as the initial and main cell of society, which forms “settlements” and the joint “settlements” are

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the state [12]. This family approach dominated for a long time. The French Enlightener Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote: “The oldest of all societies and the only natural is the family ... so the family is, if you wish, the prototype of political societies, a ruler is like a father, people are children ...” [13, p. 170]. The philosophers of antiquity, the Middle Ages and, even the new time, derive social relations from family relations, paying the main attention to the attitude of the family to the state, and not to its characterization as a special social institution. To a certain extent these views were shared by the German philosophers Kant and Hegel. Kant saw the basis of the family in a legal order, and Hegel – in an absolute idea. It should be noted that scientists who recognize the eternity and originality of monogamy, in fact, identify the concepts of “marriage” and “family”, the differences between them are reduced to a formal beginning. Of course, there is a close relationship between the concepts of “marriage” and “family”. Not without reason that in the literature of the past (sometimes the present) they are often used as synonyms. However, in the nature of these concepts there is a common, but a lot of special and specific things. So, scientists have convincingly proved that marriage and family originated in different historical periods and the family appeared much later than marriage. Contemporary domestic sociologists define marriage “as a historically changing social form of relations between a woman and a man, through which society regulates and authorizes their intimacies and establishes their marital and parental rights and obligations. Family is a more complex system of relations than marriage, as it usually unites not only spouses, but also their children, as well as other relatives or just those who close to the spouses and people they need” [2, p. 66]. The rationale for the historical variability of marriage and family for the first time presented in the work of the Swiss historian I. Bachofen “Myth, religion and motherly right”, which was published in 1861. Later, the work of the American scientist L. Morgan “Ancient Society”, published in 1877, had great importance for the justification of evolutionary ideas. For better understanding the difference in the nature of “marriage” and “family”, we should refer to the opinion of A.G. Kharchev, who

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says that marriage is only relations, while the family is also a socially organized unification of people. And the main difference between a simple social relationship and a social organization (such kind as family, state, etc.) is that the organization can act as a subject of other social relations and carry out certain activities. As a social organization, a family differs from marriage not only when it includes a certain number of people except of a married couple, but also when it is limited only as a widened marriage union. In this way, solving the question of the relationship between the concepts of “marriage” and “family”, important to take into account not only the quantitative, but also the qualitative difference between them. Summing up some historical review of the problem of the marriage family institute, it should be noted that over the past centuries, many views on the family, which were mostly subjective, were expressed. This period can be called the era of pre-scientific contemplation. Its top was the social Darwinism, that was born in the nineteenth century, according to which the family, like human, made a certain natural evolution. The beginning of the systematic, genuinely scientific study of the family had been initiated by work of F. Engels “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State”. Relying on ethnographic researches L. Morgan, F. Engels at the same time freed them from erroneous schemes and supplemented with new knowledge and conclusions. F. Engels showed that the development of family and marriage, ultimately, is due to the development of production. This allowed him not only to trace how the family and marriage changed in the past, but also to conclude that this social institution will constantly evolve and change. According to F. Engels the feature of the social system that will replace capitalism, will be not disappearance of marriage, but the formation of a qualitatively new type of family, based on individual sexual love. Marriage will become truly free, because there will be no other reasons of marriage other than the mutual feelings of a man and a woman. The economic considerations that have caused women to be reconciled with the unfaithfulness of their husbands, the dominance of men and the indissolubility of marriage will wither away, “... the

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equality of women achieved, thanks to this former experience, will contribute infinitely more to the real monogamy of men than polyandry of women” [14, p. 84]. However, F. Engels, did not attempt to give a clear description of the marriage of a future, since he was aware of the variability of this institution, its dependence on a variety of social factors. On the question of what will replace the contemporary form of marriage, he replied: “It will be determined when a new generation will be raised: the generation of men who never will have to buy a woman for money or for other social means of power, and the generation of women who will never have to give themselves to a man for any other motives, other than true love, nor renounce closeness with a beloved man because of fear of economic consequences” [14, p. 85]. The systematic study of the family began in the 20th century in the West. There were works on sexology, on mutual relations in the family. In the same period were laid the foundations of social psychology, and the social and psychological approach was spread to the family. Throughout the twentieth century, especially in the 50’s, in the West there were numerous works dedicated to marriage and family. However, despite the abundance of such literature and the organization of appropriate courses for youth, efforts to improve the marriage, strengthen the family and prevent divorce were not given noticeable results. This is mainly due to the negative nature of the social macrostructure of the society of that time, the nature of the social and economic system with its inherent chronic economic and political crises, unemployment, and violation of basic human rights. It is clear that in conditions when the family suffers from the deforming economic and moral impact of public relations, it hardly helps to give advice on how to manage the household, what the relations of spouses, parents and children should be. An enlightenment work is obviously not enough here, even if it relied on the deepest study of the laws of marriage and family life. Recently, attention to the problems of family and marriage of local specialists from different fields of scientific knowledge such as sociologists, demographers, psychologists, doctors, teachers, economists, lawyers and many others – has increased significantly.

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And this is not accidental, since the social, demographic and economic processes taking place in society have had a decisive influence on marriage and family relations. The consequence of these processes is a qualitative transformation of the marriage-family institution, when the traditional model of the family and officially registered marriage are replaced by new forms of marriage (trial, guest marriage, marriage not for the entire life). This means that the very content of the new type of family is changing, where the core of relations is determined not by kinship, not by parenthood, but by marriage and partnership, with compulsory identification of personal aspects. So, according to the research of Russian scientists, today there are not only different forms of marriage, but also different types of families [2, p. 77-120; 15, p. 7-8]. Among the classical monogamy, the next types of family are distinguished: patriarchal or traditional family; childrencentric or contemporary family; married or post-modern family; maternal and incomplete one. Currently all of them operate in parallel and form a wide range of models. Moreover, S.I. Golod distinguishes nontraditional non-monogamous family models, which could be reduced to the Illegitimate families (incomplete and maternal families), alternative family styles [16]. This allows us to talk about some crisis of the traditional family model and the evolutionary development of the marriage-family institution. It can be assumed that all these problems are due to the low quality of marriage, when the spouses do not mutually receive the expected satisfaction of the marriage needs and the instability of the family and marital relations. Therefore, the need arises to address the problem of improving the quality of marriage and strengthening marriage and family relations, regardless of to the form of marriage and family models. Let’s notice that this problem is actual not only for the Republic of Kazakhstan, but also for the countries of the former USSR (especially for Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova), and also for countries such as the USA, Sweden and the Czech Republic. The demographic situation in these countries could be characterized: by the decrease in the birth rate and officially registered marriage, an increase in the extramarital birth rate, a high level of divorce, and an increase in the age of first marriage. In Kazakhstan over the past twenty years there has been a slight increase

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in the number of divorces, as evidenced by statistical data [17, p. 21]. At the same time, those who are divorced are less likely to express a desire to re-join, and young people, in general, prefer to live in a civil marriage, not legitimizing their relationships. In Russia, the trends of marriage and divorce have their own characteristics, as evidenced by the results of the study [18]. The given data allows to make a conclusion that the problem of stabilization and strengthening of marriage and family relations acquires special significance both in our state and in the world. Solving the problem required an overview of contemporary approaches and theories on various aspects of family life. It should be noted that the importance of the family’s influence on the individual, its complexity and versatility causes a large number of approaches to the family study, as well as the variety of definitions found in scientific literature. Such a diversity of approaches and definitions of the concept of “family” is also explained by the fact that the family is the object of research of many scientific knowledge branches. The comprehensive (interdisciplinary) analysis of scientific literature dedicated to the problems of family and marriage identified the following approaches: 1. A large number of works have been conducted within the sociological approach, where the family viewed as essential social institution. In the framework of this approach, there should be noted the works of A.N. Baranov, A.G. Kharchev, M.S. Matskovskii, K. Vitek, S.I. Golod, Ya. Shchepanskii, N.G. Yurkevich, D.M. Chechot, L.V. Chuiko, Z.I. Yankova and many others [19; 2; 5; 8; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26]. In the studies of the mentioned scientists, the family considered in the process of historical development; the issues of the influence of society on the family, the family on society, etc. are covered. Among the Kazakhstan scientists of the sociological direction dealing with family and marriage issues, there should be noted N.S. Yesipov, A.M. Elemesova, A.B. Kalyshev, K. A. Kauanova and Z. Zh. Zhanazarova [27; 28; 29; 30]. 2. Psychological and social and psychological approaches. There are much less scientific works within the indicated approaches, where the family is considered as a small group. This situation could

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be explained by the fact that until the present time there was some disregard for the family relations psychology as for a branch of science. It was considered as not independent and not promising approach, due to the fact of experimental methods in family studying that are difficult to apply, also personal experience is not convincing and trustworthy. However, among the available works on the psychology of the family, there should be mentioned studies of Yu.E. Aleshina, L.Ya. Gozman, N.N. Obozov, A.N. Volkova, V.A. Sysenko, V.V. Boyko, V.P. Levkovich, O.E. Zuskova, T.M. Trapeznikova and other scientists [31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 4; 37: 38; 39; 15]. Psychological and social and psychological researches are aimed at studying various aspects of family life: compatibility of spouses, marital conflicts, issues of satisfaction with marriage and much more. In Kazakhstan psychological science there are also insignificant amount of works dedicated to different aspects of family interaction, education in family. There could be named the works of Z.Sh. Karakulova, Z.M. Balgimbayeva, A.D. Davletova, K.A. Aidarbekov, M.P. Kabakova, A.B. Valiyeva, S.K. Kudaibergenova, Zh.K. Axakalova, E.G. Grishchenko [40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48]. Within this approach, the issue of training high school students for future family life was posed by the well-known Kazakhstan teacher and psychologist K. B. Zharikbayev [49; 50]. 3. Systematic approach. The number of Russian (Soviet) family researches within the system theory (the system approach) is very few, there could be mentioned the work of A.Ya. Varga [51]. These are mainly works of foreign scientists [52; 53; 54; 55; 56]. This approach views family as a system of relationships. The foregoing allows us to conclude that the problems of family and marriage, and in particular, the problem of family stabilization, are not given proper attention in the psychological science of Kazakhstan, and therefore such researches are at the initial stage of their development. Summarizing the above, it should be noted that, despite the difference in the subjects of the study, most experts agree that the family is an intermediary between the individual and social life, performs the most important functions for the reproduction of the population (physical and spiritual), socialization and primary control behavior,

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formation and maintenance of value orientations and moral norms of external and internal culture, standards of a way of life. However, there are differences in the definitions of family and perceptions of its functioning and development processes. So, within the framework of the sociological approach, the family is defined as “a historically specified system of relationships between spouses, parents and children; as a small social group whose members are connected by marital or kinship relations, the commonality of life and mutual moral responsibility, the social necessity of which is conditioned by the need of society for the physical and spiritual reproduction of the population” [2, p. 75]. The main function of the family as a social institution has been and remains the reproductive and educational function. Our retrospective analysis of the family showed that the control of society and the state over the fulfillment of the main function of the family as a social institution that until recently had been the main factor in stabilizing family relations, i.e. stability was achieved by an external factor. At the present time, due to changes in the marriage and family institute, due to greater psychologization and intimacy of marital relations, the factors of family stabilization have moved from the outside to the inside. Under these conditions, there is a change in the regulators of stabilization, and their main factors are, to a greater extent, the interpersonal relations of the spouses. Within the framework of psychological and social and psychological approaches, family is considered as a small group. A small group in domestic psychology, is understood as “a group with a small number of members whose members are united by common social activities and are in direct personal communication, which is the basis for the emergence of emotional relations, group norms and group processes” [57, p. 185]. In the context of the family, “common social activity” is understood as a joint life activity of the family members, in particular spouses, the main purpose of which is to provide opportunities for satisfying the interrelated needs (the need of children, the need for another, in sexual experiences, the need for self-actualization, recognition, respect, etc.). In addition, according to the basic principle of domestic psychological science, the presence in

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a small group of general social activities allows, to interpret the group as a subject of this activity, or rather as an aggregate (group) subject, in the opinion of G.M. Andreeva. Questions relating to the consideration of the group as aggregate subject (AS) are presented in the works of prominent psychologists – V.M. Bekhterev, B.F. Lomov, A.V. Petrovskii, A.I. Dontsov, A.L. Zhuravlev [58; 59; 60; 61; 62; 63]. At the same time, the study of the aggregate (group, collective) subject should be conducted in close connection with the psychological analysis of the joint activity (JA). So, in the last 50-60 years a large number of studies on the problem of joint activity have been conducted, which have contributed to the formation of the concept, which has become one of the most common in psychology of groups and collectives. This issue was formulated differently by different researchers in different periods of its development. In the 1980s, special programs for the study of joint activity (JA) were developed and implemented at the Institute of Psychology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the Moscow State University. The scientific status of this problem has changed: joint activity was represented as a direct object of social and psychological research, and was not considered only as a deterministic environment [64; 65]. At the turn of the 70’s and 80’s of the XX century, K.A. Abulhanova [66], A.I. Dontsov [61], A.L. Zhuravlev [63; 67, p. 52-55] A.S. Chernyshev [68] and others developed the concept of “collective subject of activity” (or “subject of joint activity”), which stressed not the passive, but the active essence of the collective in relation to the joint activities carried out by it. According to A.L. Zhuravlev the interest of social psychologists in the problems of joint activity, is explained by many reasons, and above all, the potentials of the joint activity concept. 1. That social psychology, which is conditionally called “psychological” social psychology (as opposed to “sociological”), and which is represented by such major names as G.M. Andreeva, A.A. Bodalev, E.S. Kuzmin, B.D. Parygin, A.V. Petrovskii, K.K. Platonov, L.I. Umanskii, E.V. Shorohova etc., formed primarily on the basis of a general psychological theory of activity. Therefore, it is naturally that

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the concept of joint activity (JA) has become one of the most important elements of the system of social and psychological concepts. 2. Joint activity is such a holistic phenomenon in which concentrated and integrated the main social and psychological phenomena. In our opinion, its research, was the actual transformation from the analysis of “partial” phenomena (communication, interpersonal relations, etc.), and consequently, from “partial” social psychology to the study of holistic entities leading to the formation of an “integral” social psychology. Within joint activity fully represented interconnection and interdependence (through interaction and interrelationships) between the main psychological phenomena and concepts: the personality, the group and the activities forming the “tops of the theoretical triangle”; its two sides mean interactions and relationships, and the base of the triangle – joint activity (JA). 3. The concept of joint activity is a successful theoretical scheme that explains the psychology of stable collectives, including its adult members. Therefore, the theoretical potential of the concept of joint activity is most successfully realized in applied industries, for example, the social psychology of various types of labor, the management of economic psychology dealing with labor groups in the natural conditions of their life activity [69, p. 7-15]. The issue of joint activity and its subject became an independent object of social and psychological research at the first half of the 60-s of the 20th century and was reflected in the works of famous Russian psychologists (G.M. Andreeva, A.L. Zhuravlev, K.A. AbulhanovaSlavskaya, B.F. Lomov, B.D. Parygin, N.N. Obozov, A.I. Dontsov, J.P. Platonov, A.L. Sventsitskii, G. V. Suhodolskii etc.). The methodological basis of the study of joint activity (JA) is K. Marx’s theory of “cooperation”, which implies not only the association of people, but the system of certain relations within it [70]. Nowadays the important task facing the society is to strengthen and stabilize the marriage and family institution and could be solved by consideration of the family as the aggregate subject of the joint life activity of the individuals included in it. Because, as mentioned the well-known domestic psychologist B.F. Lomov, that “individual cooperation does not exist by itself, but is “woven” into the activities

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

of society” [71, p. 9], and that “any individual activity is an integral part of the joint activity” [71, p. 18]. As distinctive feature of joint activity, there is a single goal – the anticipated outcome of the JA, which meets the common interests and contributes to the realization of the needs of each individual included in the joint activity. In this case, the goal is the role of a constituent feature of joint activity, since the goal acts as a prototype of the result of joint activity and as its initial moment. Among the first experimental works directed to studying the process of formation of the common goal of joint activity and confirmed the earlier ideas of B.F. Lomov was the candidate thesis of S.M. Dzhakupov [72]. The solution of the problem of family stabilizing as the common subject of joint life activity supposes analysis and consideration of the structure, the main features of joint activity, the features of the formation of its collective (group, collective) entity. Considering joint activity as a holistic and relatively independent phenomenon, A.L. Zhuravlev singles out the following main features: 1) the existence of common objectives and common motivation (motivation to work and live together), 2) the division of activities into functionally related components and their distribution among participants, 3) the association of individuals and individual activities and their coordinated realization, 4) the existence of management (including self-management), 5) the overall common results 6 ) the single space and the simultaneity of individual activities performing [63, p. 19-24]. Consequently, it could be concluded that a common goal and motivation are the prerequisites for joint activity and the formation of its cumulative subject. At the same time, cooperation acts as a special quality of activity. The distinguished set of the main features of joint activity necessary for social and psychological analysis, according to A.L. Zhuravlev, should be supplemented by considering the psychological structure of joint activity. So, for analysis of the structure of joint activity, the main components of the psychological structure of individual activity are used, proceeding from the principle of functional system isomorphism, which was formulated by P.K. Anokhin: “A fundamentally functional

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system gives a universal architecture for any activity, a universal principle of functioning” [73, p. 25]. According to this principle, the structures of individual and joint activities are isomorphic, which makes it possible to single out and consider such components of them as are common to them. This approach in the analysis of the structure of JA is actually implemented in the works of B.F. Lomov [71], E.I. Golovakha [74], etc. By analogy with individual activities, the structure of joint activities includes the following components: 1) the common goal of joint activity is the central component of its structure. The common goal could be divided into more specific and partial tasks; 2) the obligatory component of the psychological structure of the joint activity is a common motive that encourages the community of individuals to work together; 3) joint actions, those of its elements that are directed to the fulfillment of current tasks; 4) the structure of joint activity completes the overall result obtained by its participants. For the disclosure of the psychological structure of JA, great importance is not only the general objective result, but also its subjective reflection by the aggregate subject. As noted above, the most important condition for joint activity is the need to unite, distribute and coordinate individual activities. These processes cover all the main components of both individual and joint activity. In joint activity, a combination of individual motivations of participants is achieved. Individual motives are not excluded from joint activities, although under its influence, it changes in some way and certain dynamics pass. According to B.F. Lomov, the union of individual motives, could cause a wide variety of effects: “Changing individual motives and goals in a joint activity, “enriching” the motivational sphere of each its participants ... or the disintegration of joint activity as a result of a clash of motives” [71, p. 19-20]. Many authors, speaking of the role of interaction in the structure of joint activity, indicate that the joint activity represents the unity of two sides: first, the joint effects on the general subject of work; and second, the effects of the participants in the joint activity on each other, which are set by social production relations and cause

22

Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

the need to identify other structural elements of joint activity [63, p. 26-27]. Such interactions are determined by the orientation toward a common subject of joint (labor) activity, i.e. there are subject-directed interactions. Interactions between people are an essential feature of the structure of joint activity and its main distinguishing feature in comparison with individual activity. According to B.F. Lomov, interaction and communication, “do penetrate joint activity and play an organizing role” [71, p. 19]. The same opinion expressed by B.D. Parygin, that in any joint activity it is possible to distinguish two aspects: the objective activity and the complexity of processes that establish various connections and dependencies between people in the process of activity and communication [75, p. 11]. Objective interaction in joint activity leads to their community as one of the manifestations of social ties and relations between individuals. Through interaction, the aggregate (collective) entity maintains its integrity and its ability to work together. The participants of joint activity are in fact active subjects of influence on each other for achieving the common goals of the JA. According to A.L. Zhuravlev, in joint activity used several typical strategies of participant’s behavior in relation to partners: a) cooperation as effective assistance to others, actively contributing to the achievement of the common goals of joint activity; b) counteracting the achievement of goals by other JA members, committing uncoordinated actions that go against the partners of interaction; c) avoidance of interaction, i.e. active escape, avoidance of interaction with partners, even in cases where the situation and circumstances not only facilitate, but also require the interaction of participants in joint activities to achieve common goals. A different ratio of the three highlighted strategies gives some typical situations of human interaction. Considering the dyadic interaction as the simplest and most indicative option of it, it is outlined a number of social and psychological types of interaction that are conditionally designated as follows: 1) cooperation; 2) confrontation;

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3) evading from interaction; 4) one-way cooperation; 5) one-way confrontation; 6) contrasting interaction; 7) compromise interaction. In this way, objective, or subject-directed interaction of participants in joint activities should be considered as a necessary “unit” of psychological analysis of joint activities. Objective interaction of people simultaneously implies their relation to each other as subjects (subject-subject relations), and their joint relation to the common object of activity (subject-object). It is the interaction of participants in joint activities that ensures the transformation of individual activities into a common system of joint activities. The subject orientation of interacting subjects is an obligatory condition for the formation of a common collective subject of activity [63, p. 30]. According to scientists, joint activity should be analyzed not only by its structural components, but also by the dynamic (procedural) components of the activity. However, in psychology at the moment, the structural characteristics of the activity are better studied, and less – the procedural features of joint activity that determine its specificity. According to the theory of the psychic as a process developed by S.L. Rubinstein and his followers, the procedural nature of the activity is a specific subject of psychological consideration [76; 71]. In determining the nature of joint activity, social psychologists proceed from the thesis that it develops in various social-psychological processes, which, essentially represent the types of participants’ interaction in joint activities. Social and psychological analysis should be conducted in a continuous connection with the study of its cumulative (collective) subject (group). As a subject of activity, can act either as a separate individual or as a team of professionals, i.e. small group, as noted G.V. Sukhodolskii [78]. Joint activity on its subject can be both group and collective. The impossibility of studying joint activity in isolation from its subject is emphasized in many works [79; 64; 80]. In 1972, B.F. Lomov was one of the first who stated the problems of studying the collective (group or “aggregate”) subject of labor activity [81]. He introduced the concept of “group potential”. He also

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

noted that the problem of joint group (collective) activity is one of the least developed in the Soviet psychology. Only in recent years, under the influence, of requests for practice, the object of psychological research is group activity (including collective) [82, p. 15]. According to Ya.A. Ponomarev, social and psychological study of collective activity assumes its analysis from the point of view of the cumulative subject, taking into account the universality of activity as a general psychological category [83]. However, the main attention in social psychology for a long time was paid to the study of the phenomenon of interpersonal relations in a group that dominated as the object of social psychology research. This approach allows us to characterize the group as a subject of relations and communication, but this is clearly not enough to describe the group as a subject of joint activity. When analyzing the family formation as the aggregate subject of joint life activity, it is necessary to consider it equally from the point of view of the subject-object relations, and from the point of view of subject-subject relations. The above main signs of JA and the properties of its subject are closely related. So, among the main characteristics of the subject of joint activity, it is necessary to identify purposefulness, motivation, level of integrity (integration), structure, consistency, organization (manageability), productivity, spatial and temporal characteristics of living conditions of the aggregate (collective) subject. All of the above properties of the subject of joint activity are also present in the family. However, consideration of the problem of activity is impossible without consideration of the “communication” category. According to B.F. Lomov, the activity and communication, are the two sides of social being, inseparably linked in a general way of life [59, p. 131]. This is particularly evident in the process of living together in the family, since communication determines the ways of interaction between subjects (spouses). According to the author, the processes of communication play the decisive role in the formation of the “aggregate subject” (K. Marx), since in these processes there is a mutual exchange of

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information between the individuals forming the group, the planning of joint activities, the division of functions, their coordination, mutual encouragement, mutual control. At the same time, he emphasizes that this is not a sum of subjects, this is the “aggregate subject”, which has the quality system and not equal just to the simple sum of the qualities of individuals included in it [59, p. 132]. In this way, communication ensures the formation of a community of individuals performing joint activities. The need to consider the relationship between activities and communication in the study of family and marital relations is due to the fact, that a comprehensive analysis of the process of joint life activity is important, since the concept of activity covers only one side of the person’s social life – the subject – object relationship, and the communication process – the subject – subject (-s) relationship”. That is, according to B.F. Lomov, “communication acts as a special independent form of the subject’s activity. Its result is not a transformed object, but a relationship with other person, with other people” [84, p. 7]. Further, as the scientist points out, communication is an essential side (or “component”) of the subject’s vital activity and is the most important determinant of the entire mental system [71, p. 8]. At the same time, he emphasizes that communication is the interaction of people entering into it as subjects. Among the basic functions of communication, the scientist distinguishes the followings: the organization of joint activity, the knowledge of each other, the formation and development of interpersonal relationships. It should be noted that the first two functions of communication in psychological science have been studied quite well. In particular, the function of communication, associated with the processes of knowledge of each other, is very productively studied by A.A. Bodalev and his school [85; 86; 87; 88]. The function of formation and development of interpersonal relations is the most important and complex, according to B.F. Lomov, and least studied. L.P. Buyeva wrote about the special role of communication in the formation of the “aggregate” subject of activity. She pointed out that “the rational, emotional and willed mutual influence and interaction of individuals are realized in communion, the commonality of moods,

26

Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

views, thoughts that are necessary for readiness to act in a certain direction, unity and solidarity are forming and characterizing group and collective activity. Within the communication there is conducting a different information exchange of knowledge, opinions, view, interests, the people’s aspirations; needs and goals are mutually refined and agreed; a psychological community is formed; mutual understanding is achieved, and the way of thinking, behavior, manners, habits, etc. are transmitted and assimilated. In different forms of communication, people exchange the results of cognition of various objects that are the subjects of their diverse activities, they acquire empirically accumulated experience, unwritten rules and information concluded in traditions, customs, rites” [89, p. 137]. Considering the problem of communication, we cannot ignore that richest and extremely useful scientific material contained in the works of domestic, Russian and Soviet psychologists, V.M. Bekhterev. He is the brilliant representative of the experimental direction in psychology, who is at the forefront of developing the problem of communication not only in our country, but also in the psychology all over the world [90]. The formulation of the problem of the aggregate or collective subject (the subject of collective activity) as an object and subject of social and psychological researches in the works of V.M. Bekhterev deserves much attention as an extremely urgent problem of today’s social psychology. “Obviously, only a community of interests and tasks is the incentive that motivates the collective to unity of actions and gives the very meaning to the existence of the collective” [58, p. 41]. “... The more common interests, the more unity of members in collective” [58, p. 41]. Bekhterev specifically studied the issue of the factors of uniting people into social communities. According to him, an important incentive for uniting people into groups is, their “mutual need” in each other, manifested in phylogenesis in the form of the need for “uniting forces for the purposes of attack and defense” [58, p. 93], and in a situation of joint activity – in a specific form of mutual complementation of individuals by each other, distribution of functions and efforts.

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As noted, the issues of communication, mutual psychic influence of people on each other are central in the social-psychological theory and the collective experiment of V.M. Bekhterev. Describing the role of communication in public life, Bekhterev highlighted its functions as a mechanism for carrying out joint activities and the formation of its collective subject, as conditions for the preservation and distribution of individual experience, transfer to offspring, and ensuring the historical continuity of social values. According to Bekhterev, communication, acts as a mechanism for uniting people into groups, as a condition for the socialization of an individual. In this connection the interesting thought of Bekhterev which was reflected and developed in the works of his disciples and followers. That “common life, common work, common activity, jointly suffered misery or joy of life by the whole essence leads to consolidation of the collective” [58, p. 111]. So, according to remark of the domestic psychologist A.I. Dontsov, “the integrity of a social group fixed in the concept of “aggregate subject” is the starting point of its study” [62, p. 92]. However, “the psychological integrity of the “aggregate subject” does not precede the joint socially conditioned activity, but is generated by it” [62, p. 109]. This allows us to conclude that the family becomes an aggregate subject only in the process of living together. Also there should be quoted A.V. Petrovskii who said that “the consideration of the collective as a subject of joint socially conditioned activity allows us to see how it (the subject) is objectified in the object of its activity and at the same time this object is being misclassified in the subject, in the collective (group), mediating and transforming inter-individual contacts and relations” [60, p. 85-86]. In this way, the aforesaid allows us to consider the family as the aggregate subject of joint life activity (AS JLA). It should be emphasized that the concept of life activity (joint life activity) is used by many Russian scientists: K.A. Abulkhanova-Slavskaya, B.G. Ananyev, G.M. Andreeva, N.A. Loginova and others [91; 92; 57; 93], however, the authors do not give a specific interpretation and definition. Speaking about the family as the small group, it should be noted that it is the specific type of small group and has specific characteristics:

28

Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

social normative predetermination, heterogeneous composition by gender and age, poly-functionality, duration and dynamism of family history, total character of inclusion of the individual into the family. Due to this, almost all processes of group dynamics in the family differ from those that occur in other types of small groups [94]. One of the indispensable conditions of stable functioning and the existence of the family as the small group is its internal cohesion. In a cohesive group, the greatest homogeneity of the behavior of its members is created and there is a high level of unity of their views, opinions and attitudes about the phenomena (persons, events) is observed, that are significant for the realization of joint activities. Also, the group with a high level of cohesion has a significant influence on the individuals within it. Polish psychologist, M. Zemska identifies a number of factors that have both a positive and negative impact on the level of family cohesion. So, to factors contributing to cohesion, she refers the satisfaction by the needs for security and emotional rest that are common for the group, the overweight of positive emotional interpersonal relations over the negative, common ideals and interests, the climate of equality and justice, common activity, group symbolic ceremonies, common value orientations of all members, as well as satisfaction of emotional needs. Factors threatening the group’s cohesion, in her opinion, are the unbridled drive of the group members; the manifestation of egocentrism; envy and rivalry; a feeling of dissatisfaction, accumulated as a result of exactingness of a leader or exactingness of the group [95]. Speaking about our understanding of cohesion, it should be noted that we are close to understanding it as an integral characteristic of the development of the collective, proposed by A.I. Dontsov [96; 62]. This understanding allows us to consider the collective as a multilevel structure of relationships, mediated by the content side of group activities, and the interpretation of this activity as a substantive one. Carrying this on the family, we can say that at different stages of its existence the family has different cohesion, depending on the level of involvement of each spouse into the process of joint life. However, it should be noted that Soviet social psychology turned to the study of the family as a small group relatively recently. And

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one of the first attempts to justify the family as an object of social psychology was the thesis of A.P. Oschepkova [97]. As was noted earlier, the family is a complex social formation, in the analysis of which it is impossible to confine by one-sided consideration: either from the point of view of subject-object relations or from the point of view of subject-subject relations. The specific of the family as the aggregate subject of joint life activity is that its formation is conditioned by the process of transformation of subjectsubject relations into subject-object relations (at the stage of family registration, including legal) and their subsequent transformation into subject-subject relations, which are based on new value-semantic ideas about the functioning of the family. In this case, perceptions act as mechanisms for the formation of joint motives and goals for the life of the family as an aggregate subject of activity. The family as a small group performs specific functions that are directly related to the functions of the family as a social institution, being their “mechanism”. At the same time, by the functions of the family are understood the way of activity manifestation, of the family and its members. In this way, the most important and specific functions of the family as of the small group are: 1) function of forming a family community; “the formation of an aggregate”, group, collective subject of activity and the achievement of the necessary organization and unity of actions of individuals who are members of the group and solve its tasks. As sub-functions: the formation of family values, norms, goals; the achievement of cohesion as a “value-orientation unity” (Shpalinskii, 1973) [98]; 2) function of organization and realization of joint activity, consisting in the development of joint actions, control, organization and coordination of these actions. And this is possible not only with the exchange of information (opinions, ideas, interests) between family members that promote an adequate understanding of each other, but also with their sharing and acceptance of family interaction by each of the participants. Applying terminology of S.M. Dzhakupov, this could be rephrased as follows: existence of a “general information fund” (GIF) (Lomov, 1980) [99], formed in conditions of communication between family members, but does not yet ensure the success of the

30

Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

family’s functioning; it is necessary that partners invest the same meanings to information, i.е. it is important that “general fund of semantic formations” (GFSF) (Dzhakupov, 1992) is formed and appropriated by each of the participants in the family interaction. In the process of implementing this function, the family distributes and maintains the roles of family members, authority and responsibility. In addition to the specific functions mentioned by Z.A. Yankova, who summarized the listed different authors (A.G. Kharchev, N.G. Yurkevich, E.K. Vasilyeva, Z.I. Fainburg, V.A. Sysenko and others) functions of the contemporary family, singles out a number of basic functions: the function of reproduction (reproductive), the upbringing of children, the economic household, the organization of leisure (recreational), sexual-emotional-hedonistic function [26, p. 84-112]. Within the framework of our goals and research tasks, it is necessary to give a brief description of each of them. The reproductive function of the family, together with the function of raising children, is its main social function. However, in comparison with past times, the highest “instance”, which makes the decision to give birth to a certain number of children in each family, is the family itself. The need of spouses to have children has become, a moral need, above all. But, as shown by the results of many studies, the contemporary family is oriented to strictly planned family. One of the significant factors affecting the level of fertility is the level of professional employment of a contemporary woman. So, in the opinion of A.G. Kharchev, the higher the level of professional employment of a woman, the lower the birth rate. In addition, the birth rate depends on the level of correspondence of the moral interests and economic opportunities of the family; on the stability of marital relations. But the role of the family is not confined to the role of a “biological factory”. A human become valuable for society only when he/she becomes a person, and this requires a long and purposeful educative process, in which the family plays the leading role. None of the children educational institution is able to reproduce the intensity of family communication and interaction, permeated with positive emotions, which contributes to the development and upbringing of the child’s feelings, the formation of his/her emotional sphere. It should be noted that the role of parents (mother and father)

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in the process of raising children is not monosemantic and has its own characteristics. Representing a small group, and social “microcosm”, the family most corresponds to the possibility of inclusion the child into social life, acting as the main institution of socialization. Speaking about the household function, it should be noted that the economic and household sphere of the family is the material basis of its life activity. The results of many studies of specialists dealing with family and marriage issues show, that for contemporary family a traditional model of performing household and everyday functions is still suitable where almost all of the duties of the house are mostly performed by a woman. However, such a distribution of responsibilities in the family can be the cause of the wife discontent and serve as an occasion for conflicts. The function of organizing family leisure (recreational function) is aimed at developing the personality of all family members, resting, restoring the person’s mental and physical strengths, and maintaining and preserving the family as an integral structure. This function is also aimed at the formation and development of marital relations; generation, storage and development of moral and cultural values, norms, patterns of behavior in the family, that is, the creation of family micro-culture. It should be noted, that it is in the implementation of this function of the family that a greater unity and rallying of all its members forming the basis for the formation of a general fund for the semantic structures of the family occurs, since joint organization and joint leisure activities are one of the activities of the family. Sexually-emotionally-hedonistic function takes on a special (independent) significance in the life of a contemporary family, since in recent years there has been a separation of the reproductive function from the sexual relations of married partners. Sexuality has acquired an independent and equal value for both men and women. Particular importance in the family life has “therapeutic” function or the function of the psychological “refuge”, the realization of which depends on the nature of the marital relationship. On the basis of the “therapeutic” function there are two psychological mechanisms: 1) mechanism of emotional discharge (stress relieving), which allows spouses to relieve the tension that accrues to them in their

32

Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

non-family activities and in the course of their other family functions (objective difficulties in household activities, in the upbringing of children, etc.). The mechanism of emotional discharge provides one of the types of “psychological rest”; 2) mechanism of creating a positive emotional charge, since for normal psychological well-being and feelings of satisfaction to spouses, a certain amount of emotional tension is required, a lack of monotony. The presence of a favorable psychological climate, when there is mutual understanding and goodwill between the spouses, and the family fulfilling the role of “psychological shelter”, is a reliable condition for the family relations stability [100]. Consequently, the analysis of the contemporary family functions has shown that at the present time the family is changing values, psychological factors are becoming decisive among others, affecting the satisfaction with family life, the strength of marriage, etc. Many researchers (A.G. Kharchev, N.N. Obozov, and others) indicate such a change in the emphasis the functioning of the family; in particular, Latvian specialists believe that if “the main attention in the family had been paid to the household function, now main attention paid to the relationship between family members” [101, p. 56]. Further, considering the family as the small group, it must be noted, that in the process of functioning it passes a series of stages in its development, emphasizing that the family is not a static entity. Speaking in the language of social psychology, the highest stage in the development of a family community is the creation of a family collective. The family as the collective is considered as the qualitative characteristic of the level of development of an organized family community. The family collective is based not only on the emotional relations between its members, but also on the duties to fulfill the basic social functions of the family. In this collective roles are established not strictly, but on the basis of the capabilities and abilities of each member. The main features of such team are mutual assistance and mutual trust, a joint discussion of family problems, and strong participation in the affairs of the family. According to the well-known philosopher and sociologist M.S. Matskovskii, one of the characteristics of relations is about those members who are truly included in the collective and

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only them could experience its moral influence. They have clear rights and duties, participate in the discussion of all common affairs, well informed about the problems of the family collective [102]. In the scientific literature of the family issues, different authors define the periodization of the stages (cycles) of family life in their own way. So, often such a periodization is based on changing the place of children in the family structure. For example, R. Neubert identifies the stages of joint life, life after the birth of children, senior school age children nurture, the separation of children from parents and grandchildren nurture [103]. The next periodization is connected with the statistics of family crises, which was reflected in the works of Ch.S. Grizitskas and N.V. Malyarova [104], S. Kratochvil [105], Z. Rosental [106], M. James [107], V.A. Sysenko [4], G. Navaitis [108]. It is established that in certain periods of the family’s life cycle, there is a tendency to crises and conflicts. So, for example, S. Kratochvil refers to the critical periods of 4-6 and 17-25 years of joint life. These recurring periods of family crises are fairly easy to relate to changes in the functions of the family and the corresponding changes in its structure. Based on the statistics of the number of divorces, it should be pointed out that for the first 9 years of family life, according to V.A. Sysenko, account for about 2/3 of all divorces [4, p. 34]. Among the main reasons for the divorces are following: the intervention of parents in the life of young spouses (marriage duration is 0-2 years), the different attitude towards the upbringing of children (in spouses with a marriage of 5-10 years). In the further stages of the family development, there are again specific causes of instability, among which the idea that it is impossible to revive marital relations occupies an important place. This is due not only to the unformed general fund of semantic formations, but also to the cyclical nature of the oscillations of positive emotions in marital relations. In this way, periodic cooling in the relationship of spouses in its origin is a natural phenomenon. It is based on the adaptive mechanisms of the human body: the prolonged action of the stimulus (object, phenomenon, situation) leads to the “fatigue” of the nervous structures that manifest themselves in a certain emotional and psychological state of a human. As a result of permanent contact

34

Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

with the same person, in particular, a spouse who, moreover, does not engage in self-development (self-improvement), comes a peculiar satiety to them, there is a need for an emotional rest from him/her. A signal about the need to relax from a loved one, from communicating with him/her, is experienced on an emotional level in the form of boredom, then irritation, dislike towards him/her, and this can lead to quarrels, conflicts. V. Satir offers another periodization of family life [109]. She points out that as each member of the family collective grows, the family must go through certain stages. All these stages are accompanied by a crisis and increased anxiety. In total allocates 10 crises: from the first – impregnation, pregnancy and the birth of a child – until the tenth, when one of the spouses dies, and then the second. V. Satir emphasizes that these are natural crises experienced by most people. However, when three or four crises occur simultaneously, life becomes more tense and anxious than usual. Among the many points of view on the family development periodization can be identified one more. So, foreign experts Dorothy and Raphael Beckvar [110] drew attention to the phenomenon that the personality affects the family and the family, affects the personality. In their opinion, there are some common points in the development of family and personality in the family. D. and R. Beckvar offered a general principle of periodization of an individual in the family and the family development. It is an emotional development and tasks of activity, without the solution of which it is impossible to move to a new stage of development. Proceeding from this principle and the above facts and arguments, the Baltic psychologist G. Navaitis considers to highlight the following stages in the development of the family: premarital communication; marriage; the “honeymoon” stage; stage of a young family; a mature family; family of older age people [111, p. 12]. Among the periodizations on tasks characteristic of each period, the most popular periodization of the domestic psychologist E.K. Vasilyeva. In foreign psychology, the periodization of the life cycle of the family of R. Hill is wide spread [112, p. 150]. However, in our opinion, the most convenient for solving applied problems in the

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psychology of family relations is the periodization of the family life cycle of M. Erikson [112, p. 151]. According to this periodization are allocated: the period of courtship; marriage and its consequences (marital behavior); the birth of a child and interaction with him/her; mature stage of marriage; excommunication of children from parents; retirement and old age. Within the framework of our research, there are several stages that mentioned by particular interest such as the period of courtship, the period of a young and mature family. There was found that the nature and duration of dating before marriage affect the safety and success of marriage relations in the future family life. And this is understandable, because during the premarital courtship the primary general information fund (GIF) of partners is formed, which in the future will expand, supplement and determine the joint life activity. However, for the successful functioning of the family, it is not enough only the general information fund (GIF), it is necessary that partners in the period of acquaintance and recognition begin to form a general fund of semantic formations (GFSF) and present it to each other, and this can be achieved through joint-dialogic cognitive activity (JDCA) (Dzhakupov, 1992) of partners. The construction of a general fund of semantic formations occurs in the process of the exchange of semantic formations, actualized by joint activity. According to S.M. Dzhakupov, exchange of semantic entities is not conducting only through the process of information exchange about goals, tasks, methods of activity, but also by information exchange that has no direct relation to the goals, tasks and methods of activity, but without which the latter disintegrate without uniting into a single structure of joint activity. This information, expressed in assessments and attitudes to activity and can be transmitted through the emotional channels of communication [3, p. 68]. It should be noted that the exchange of semantic formations can be carried out both by verbal and non-verbal ways of communication. Verbal communication transmits conscious components of semantic formations in the form of goals and tasks, while non-verbal also allow the transmission of unconscious components. By S.M. Dzhakupov, the semantic formations of the personality are a complex hierarchically

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

structured system in which the subsystem of personal senses plays a leading role. It determines the strategy and tactics of human life in macro-sphere of society. According to D.A. Leontyev, the sources of meanings that determine what is important to a person and what is not, and why, what place particular objects or phenomena occupy in his/her life, are the needs and personal values of a person. These meanings are individual, which results not only from the mismatch of the needs and values of different people, but also from the originality of the individual ways of their realization [113, p. 38]. At the second level of analysis of the system of semantic formations, S.M. Dzhakupov identified a subsystem of goal meanings that defined as the law the direction of the personality’s activity in the microsphere of human relations, into which person is included in everyday life. The third level of semantic formations is a subsystem of operational meanings that determine the form and content of specific activities regulated by a system of target meanings and aimed at ensuring life activity. Proceeding from the above, we can assume that during the premarital courtship the general fund of semantic formations may be of a higher level, since is formed on the basis of positive emotional relations. Further, formed in the period of courtship GFSF, in accordance with the development of relations of spouses, must change, and be transformed. The presence of the structured general fund of semantic formations, as well as the level of its appropriation by each partner determines the form of joint activity. So, S.M. Dzhakupov allocates the following forms: pseudo-joint, joint activity, pseudo-individual (Dzhakupov, 1992). Considering the period of the “young family”, it is necessary, first of all, to define the concept of “young family”, and secondly, to try to characterize it and disclose the specifics. An analysis of the scientific literature on the issues of the young family showed not only the existence of a small number of works on this topic, but also the absence of a clear definition of the concept of the “young family”, due to the fact that scientists put different contents in this concept: the age of spouses, experience of living together, factors that affect the stability of marriage and family relations, etc.

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Nevertheless, the conclusions of the researchers, who somehow studied the family at the stage of its first years of life, agree that there are objective and subjective reasons that lead to destabilization of the young family. Within the framework of these reasons, first of all, the inability of newlyweds to communicate and find compromise solutions in conflict situations are singled out. The most optimal definition is given by T.A. Gurko, stated that the “young family” are spouses no older than 30 years old (in accordance with the concept of “youth”), with 3 year experience of joint life”[114, p. 58-74]. The argumentation for this definition is the specificity of the first period of the joint life of the family – the influence of premarital factors, the motives for choosing a partner, the process of adapting the spouses to each other for the character of the interpersonal relations of the newlyweds. It should be noted, that this is the most complex, unstable period of the existence of the marriage and family institution, as evidenced by the statistics of the Kazakhstan [17]: up to 32% of all divorces in recent years accounted for the families with a joint life up to four years. The increase in divorces in young families, according to psychologists, leads them to serious negative consequences: 1) the dissolution of the first marriage negatively affects the personality of the divorcee, creates excessive alertness, practicality, which affects marital relations during the next marriage; 2) psychological problems that arise in divorced at a pre-separation situation and in the period of adaptation to a new status, often lead to drunkenness, antisocial behavior; 3) failure in the first marriage adversely affects on the decision to remarry. At the same time, women are less likely to marry, because they stay with children; 4) growth of divorces changes the attitude to this phenomenon. In ordinary consciousness, divorce becomes familiar. Young spouses who consider divorce as the most acceptable way out of the conflict situation do not make special efforts to support marriage, do not make attempts to change themselves, their habits and behavior for the sake of preserving the family. The analysis of problems in a contemporary young family leads experts to the conclusion, that married young women and young men are not always ready for the complexities of life together and do not

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have the necessary level of development of marital maturity, which, according to the Polish psychologist M. Zemska, is a cumulative characteristic of the physical, mental and social maturity of an individual [95, p. 150-161]. Among these three types of maturity, the most important are the mental and social maturity. So, mental maturity reflects the degree of mental, emotional development in which a person is able to take responsibility for other people. One of the most important indicators of a person’s mental maturity is the capacity for a mature feeling (love). “Mature love,” – writes M. Zemska, “is a feeling based on the knowledge of the beloved person and him/herself; associated not only with the perception of the senses, but also with their return”. At the heart of mature love there is mental maturity, understood as a certain type of thinking, conducive to adequate self-assessment and evaluation of reality; a realistic understanding of one’s own family role and the roles of family members; self-control, endurance, objective comprehension of one’s desires, actions, and their correlation with the positions of another member of the family; the ability to make meaningful decisions based on a correct assessment of the situation. One of the essential signs of the mature love is the ability of the spouses to perceive their partner as an individual, personality. Unlike a mature feeling, as the author believes, immature love is based on illusions, egocentric desires, claims to the partner. After the marriage and legal registration begins the process of primary stabilization of the young family. During this period, the spouses adapt to family life; mutual adaptation of the husband and wife, as well as getting used to the new conditions of joint life. The process of adaptation, according to experts in the field of family psychology and marriage, includes the following components: 1) consistency of personality and characteristic qualities of the spouses; 2) mutual satisfaction of the needs of husband and wife in various spheres of interaction; 3) development of a style of mutual relations; 4) consistency of role settings, ideas about family values of spouses that have developed in the parents’ house [115; 116; 4].

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Analysis of the specifics of the young family, the existing problems of interpersonal interaction of spouses in the most difficult period of formation and formation of the family as a collective dictates the need for special preparation of youth for the future family life. When considering a mature family, we rely on the work of V.A. Sysenko [4; 117], L.B. Schneider [112] and many other authors pointing out that a family with an experience of joint life of 10-19 years is more successful in fulfilling its functions. V. Sysenko points out, in some respects in marriages of medium duration, there is a certain stabilization of marital relations, as the marital friendship has already developed, mutual support has been strengthened, the distribution of labor and responsibilities has become established in the home life, the financial situation of the family has grown, children have educated. However, this is typical for relatively prosperous unions in which spouses, as a result of quarrels and conflicts, did not develop feelings of enmity, hatred, or psychological alienation. In general, according to statistics, it is clear that the second decade for the overwhelming number of married couples is more balanced. But among married couples of 10-19 years of joint life experience, it is necessary to distinguish between “happy”, successful marriage and marriage of spouses who have lived together for many years, but who have not found a “common language” and exist only formally. There are a variety of explanations for this fact. However, in our opinion, the most important reason is that the spouses initially could not establish mutual, trusting relationships and to form a general fund of semantic entities, as a result of which the spouses have to maintain an “empty” marriage, which, in practice, does not give any satisfaction from joint livelihoods. Figuratively speaking, the years go by, and the spouses continue each along to “pull the strap” of “joint life”. Some couples live more calmly, because some indifference appeared, others – less calmly. In such couples frequent conflicts and quarrels are observed. But among similar conflict and crisis families may take place married couples in which, over the years, as the family develops, the general fund of semantic formations, formed at the beginning of family life, remains on the same level. This may indicate as a phenomenon that the author of the monograph empirically defined and called as “marital

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

infantilism”. In this case, marital infantilism is a manifestation of the discrepancy between the relationships of the spouses to their current views on how to build joint livelihoods, expressed in a weak degree of consistency of perceptions, family values, sets in a married couple. A weak degree of consistency in the couple indicates either a low level of the organization of a general fund of semantic formations, or about different degrees of appropriation of formed the general fund of semantic formations by partners. Summarizing what has been said about the periodization of family life, it should be specially emphasized that among the set of suggested points of view there is not one that would consider the development of relations depending on different forms of joint activity. This problem remains open and requires further investigation. Starting to consider the family as a system, it should be noted that a systematic approach to the study of family began its development in the West in the 70s of the twentieth century and gained great popularity. Among the researchers of this direction, there are K. Barnard, R. Corrales, R. Hill, M. Andolfi [15] and others [53; 54; 55; 56]. So, in terms of the general theory of systems developed by Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1968), “family is not a simple sum of members of the family, it is, above all, a certain network of relationships between all members of the family. In order to understand the state of the family, more than a simple analysis of the status of each individual member of the family is needed. For this, it is necessary to analyze the entire family system as a whole [112, p. 46]. According to R. Hill, the family as a system has the following characteristics: 1) its members are in constant interdependence, so that any change in the behavior of one of them entails changes in the behavior of others; 2) the family is a relatively close unit that limits itself to certain boundaries; 3) the family is an adaptive organization striving to maintain equilibrium with its social environment; 4) the family is a unit that performs certain tasks related to both external factors and the satisfaction of the needs of its members [2, p. 18].

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In this way, the fundamental concept of a systematic approach to the family is the concept of homeostasis. It is understood as the desire of the system to maintain its constancy and balance and restore it in case of violation. The homeostasis of the family as a system ensures its stability, predictability of family events, a sense of security. All that has been said above allows us to regard the family as a constantly evolving, transforming, actively self-regulating system, open to interaction with other systems, and acting as part of a whole already higher construct – society. Consequently, the family, like any system, has two tendencies – solidarity, cohesion and disintegration, dissociation. Both tendencies exist simultaneously and have an equal probability of predominance. At certain stages of the development and existence of the family there is tension, which either is overcome or grows up to a conflict manifested in quarrels and divorce. Therefore, it is important to find determinants that specify the actions of both trends and lead to the predominance of one of them. By Parke & Buriel, family is considered “as a social system that unites a number of subsystems, including “child-parents”, “husbandwife”, “siblings” (brothers and sisters from one parent) [50, p. 463]. However, it should be noted that the “husband-wife” subsystem in the family is the main one, since harmonious relations in this subsystem contribute to well-being in its other subsystems. It should also be noted that the systemic approach is applied in the practice of marital therapy, described by the Czech psychotherapist S. Kratochvil [52, p. 164-169]. In addition, systematic approach, according to M.P. Kabakova, gave the opportunity to show the existence of a relationship between the parental and “child’s” family, i.e. a family created by their adult children regardless of gender, manifested in the similarity of the behavior patterns of the spouses of both systems. According to B. Buda [118], a person studies his/her marital role on the basis of identifying him/herself with a parent of the same gender. In this scheme included, the role of the parent of the other gender. Forms of parental relations – become a standard for an individual. In the “child’s” family, both spouses try to adapt their relations to their internal schemes. Often,

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

under the influence of falling in love, one of the partners shows compliance (especially during courtship and “honeymoon”), partially abandoning his/her program for the sake of another partner and out of a desire to adapt to it, which causes internal contradictions. But after a while the pattern of behavior, according to the scientist, again makes itself felt, and the individual has a tendency to return to the programmed path. The partner obviously goes the same way; in this way, the basis for conflict is created. According to Buda, such a programmed system of relations can be harmoniously realized only with a partner who, with his/her internal program, resembles the parent of the opposite gender. The researcher concludes: “The inheritance of personal properties also determines the similarity of marital relations, which are also inherited, that is why not only the partner’s choice is repeated, but also many mistakes and problems of the parents”. It should also be noted that such a desire of the spouses to repeat the model of their parents’ relationships persists even when overly pronounced tendencies have traumatized them in the childhood. In the marriage of partners from families that are clearly opposite models, as the scientist points out, there is a constant struggle for power (or their inadequate behavior is noted). And this is understandable, because each family is formed by its general fund of semantic formations, peculiar only to it, therefore, the emergence of a young family of partners with different families, different GFSF, have to harmonize their individual funds of semantic formations and on this basis create already the general fund of semantic formations, similar to the GFSF of the parent family. In this way, summing up the consideration of the family as a system, it should be said that in the domestic psychology of the family there is practically no of published research results within the system approach. This state of affairs opens the possibility to build future research in the field of family psychology and marriage in this direction. Since the consideration of the family from the point of view of the systemic approach makes it possible to analyze the processes taking place in it and with it (or – influencing it), taking into account its features both as a small group and as a social institution. This is the advantage of system analysis in relation to the phenomenon of “family”.

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Summing up, we had considered some aspects of the history of the establishment of family and marriage institution; the most common approaches to the study and research of the family in contemporary scientific literature; proposed its own interpretation of already known family phenomena, introduced new concepts. 1.2. Marital relationship as a psychological phenomenon In the realities of the 21-st century, still there are even more sharp questions about how we can find a stable, harmonious union with another person and how to save this union for the whole life. Consequently, one of the interesting and pressing problems of the contemporary marriage-family institution is the problem of marriage stabilization. To solve this problem, we first need to consider the phenomenon of “marital relations”, the interest in which many philosophers and writers showed in their works. In this way, the necessity and usefulness of marriage, the relationship between husband and wife, and the role of each of them in the family where mentioned in Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics” [119]. From an acute mind of Ya.A. Komenskii also could not be hidden the underwater stones of marital life. He spoke of matrimony that “both without it and in it is equally difficult, and if it seems to be the best, then in this case the sweet is mixed with bitter” [120, p. 302]. The separation of marriage as an independent phenomenon and the structural unit of analysis took place recently in a history, as a result of the serious social and economic transformations of contemporary society, which created the conditions for equality (social, legal, professional, moral) of men and women [15, p. 21]. By definition of S.I. Golod, “marriage is the personal interaction of the husband and the wife, regulated by moral principles and supported by immanent values” [121, p. 36]. This definition emphasizes, first, the noninstitutional nature of the relationship, and second, the equality and symmetry of the moral obligations and privileges of both spouses. The condition of normal functioning and development of marriage as one of the family substructures, according to S.I. Golod, is the presence of the husband and wife of diverse value orientations. The scientist

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

made such conclusions relying on the statements of I.V. Blauberg and E.G. Yudin, who considered that “the diversity of value systems is the natural basis for the individualization of the personality and therefore the system providing such diversity, among other things, has the greatest stability” [122, p. 109]. In our work aimed at studying psychological factors of the stabilization of marital relations, we consider the couple as an object of the research, the relationship between husband and wife, as the subsystem of the “family” system, being the main one, determines the nature of relations in its other subsystems. The fact that marital relations, constituting the “core” of the family and the beginning of family life, and “setting the tone” for all other intra-family relations, allows us to treat a married couple (husband-wife dyad) as the aggregate subject of joint life activity. It should be noted that the couple as a unit of observation in the domestic science began to be considered only in the 70s of the twentieth century. Until that time, in the scientific research of the family, only one of the spouses was interviewed [123; 124]. When studying the relationship between husband and wife, the need to treat a couple as an object was first realized in sexopathology. Well-known American clinical researchers V. Masters and V. Johnson, regarding the sexual act as a form of communication, interaction of two individuals, came to the conclusion that any violation of it by one of the participants, cause resonance in the second participant. Therefore, they refused the treatment of single patients, a man suffering from impotence, or a woman suffering from anorgasmia, and accept only married couples for treatment. Moreover, “although in the presence of functional disorders in marriage, both husband and wife are exposed to treatment”, “the patient is a violation of interaction between them” [125, p. 3]. Illustrating the importance of this methodological innovation the domestic scientist S.I. Golod with the example of the principle of satisfaction with marriage showed that according to the individual judgments of one of the spouses, it is not always possible to reliably judge the realities of family life. It became apparent that marital interaction can be recorded by identifying the measure of consistency of the judgments (and actions)

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of the husband and wife on identical aspects of family activity. With this purpose of a group of scientists headed by S.I. Golod has developed an index of “consistency” that corresponds to the requirements of generalization, interpretability and is checked for validity. Therefore, in our study we used the consistency index and worked with both spouses. At the same time, the responses of the husband and wife to the questionnaires allowed us, on the one hand, to establish a measure of consistency (inconsistency) (highlighted by M.K.) of their values, perceptions, sets to particular aspects of the marital situation, on the other – to identify the specificity of expectations and actions of each spouses, determined by gender differences. A married couple, or dyad “husband-wife”, psychologically represents a marriage relationship. Marital relations are the most complex type of interpersonal relations, since they include not only the spiritual and moral aspects of marital interaction, but also the sexual and erotic attraction of spouses [15, p. 21]. As shown by numerous studies, one of the main reasons for marriage and the formation of marital relations is “love”. Unfortunately, considering love relations, it is impossible to give any unambiguous interpretation of the feeling of “love” due to significant differences in its subjective interpretation and the absence of a unified scientific theory. There are numerous attempts to define love, to distinguish its structure and types, which are often highly contradictory. This is understandable, because each human, by virtue of his/her individuality, puts his/her own meaning in the concept of “love.” It should be noted, that among the many works devoted to the psychological analysis of emotional relations, and in particular, the phenomenon of love, the most interesting work belongs to L.Ya. Gozman [126]. The author, making an analysis of many approaches and theories to the consideration of emotional relations, proposes to conditionally divide the set of theoretical views of love into two main models – “pessimistic” and “optimistic”. According to the first model, love makes a person more dependent and anxious, hinders his/ her personal development. According to the second − love promotes psychological comfort, relieves the internal stress and anxiety, provides personal development. From the point of view of L.Ya. Gozman, in

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

the case when a person is sure of the positive attitude towards him/her of other one (or when a person has high self-esteem), there is every reason to agree with the “optimistic” model of the family. In this case, the models of the first group can include, for example, the theory of L. Casler [127]. He believes that there are three reasons that make one person fall in love with another. Firstly, the need to confirm their attitudes and knowledge about the world. Secondly, it is only for love that you can regularly satisfy a sexual need without feeling a sense of shame. Thirdly, love, according to L. Casler, is a conformal reaction to the norms of society. An example of the “optimistic” model is the theory of A. Maslow [128]. The love of a mentally healthy person is characterized, according to A. Maslow, first of all by the removal of anxiety, a feeling of complete safety and psychological comfort. It is in no way connected with the initial hostility between genders (this position A. Maslow generally considers as false). Love, in A. Maslow’s description, differs sharply from those phenomena observed by other researchers using the same name. So, from his point of view, satisfaction with the psychological and sexual side of relations among members of a married couple does not decrease over the years, as usual, but increases. In general, increasing the term of acquaintance of partners, according to his opinion, is associated with an increase in satisfaction. The situation described by A. Maslow, according to L.Ya. Gozman, can be an illustration of one important feature of love, which ideally should always be present in love relations. In fact, a stable long-term love is always love, despite the shortcomings, imperfections of a partner, as if contrary to them. Since long and close communication does not allow a person to not see negative qualities of a partner, the ability to accept others as they are allows him/her to maintain a sense of love for him/ her, despite the realization of his/her objective imperfections. In his work L.Ya. Gozman emphasizes that in emotional relationship is present in three hypostases: emotion, having its subject another person, attitude to another person and the emotional component of interpersonal perception. It is required to mention, that love, not being the direct subject of our study, is directly related to the problem of stabilizing marital

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relations. Therefore, we think it appropriate to consider the points of view of some prominent scientists (E. Fromm, Z. Rubin, A.G. Kharchev, B.I. Dodonov, I.M. Sechenov) in nature, essence and structure of the “love” phenomenon. For example, E. Fromm was one of the first proposed consideration of the structure of love [129]. He highlights the following components of love: care, responsibility, respect and knowledge. It should be noted that in later studies this structure was criticized for its lack of pleasure, joy – love, according to E. Fromm, is obtained by a feeling purely rational and ascetic. Also, we should mention another structure proposed by Z. Rubin [130]. He singled out affection, care and intimacy (trust) in love. Based on this structure, Z. Rubin created a special questionnaire, which was later modified by Russian psychologists and applied in our study. According to the prominent Russian sociologist and philosopher A.G. Kharchev, it is necessary to distinguish between love as a form of people’s spiritual activity and love as a physiological preference for one object to another. About love as a social feeling, one can speak only when in relation to the other gender, along with instinctive attachment or physical preference, there is also a deep spiritual inclination. Domestic psychologist B.I. Dodonov [131] based on the theory of emotional orientation of the individual, according to which emotions participate in the organization of human activity both as assessments and as a self-sufficient value, the motive of behavior, the goal of the individual, analyzes the sayings of writers, poets, and moralists about love. So, L.N. Tolstoy in the autobiographical trilogy contrasts each other with “active love” and “beautiful love”. “Active love”, – he says, “consists in striving to satisfy all needs, all desires, whims, even the vices of a beloved one”. Emotions of love in this case are not the purpose of the activity, but as A.N. Leontyev would say, “result and the mechanism of its movements. It’s not that “beautiful love”. It, as wrote L.N. Tolstoy, “is in love of beauty of the feeling and its expression. For people who are so fond of – the favorite subject is kindly only as much as it excites that pleasant feeling, the consciousness and expression of which they enjoy. People who love by beautiful love ... often change the objects of their love, because their main goal is only that a pleasant feeling of love is constantly exciting”[132, p. 246]. According to

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

B.I. Dodonov, love in one of its variants is, first of all, as a love for man, in the second – as a love for those love experiences that it causes. In other words, love can be either a person’s need for a “friend”, only realized through the “mechanism” of emotions, and the need for these emotions themselves. Noting the paramount importance of love not only for an individual person, but also for marital (love) relationships as a whole, it is necessary to take into account that love as a complex psychological feeling (or phenomenon) undergoes a certain process of evolution at different stages of the development of the spouse – relations (from the emotional heat of fervent enthusiasm and affection, responsibility, to friendships). The development of the loving feelings of partners was remarkably demonstrated by I.M. Sechenov: “Months, years, and many times – usually the passion has already died in those happy cases, when on both sides the reality corresponded to ideals. Why? On the basis of the law, according to which the brightness of passion is maintained only by the variability of the passionate image. In a year or two ... the brightness of the passion is gone. Love, however ... was not destroyed. It is the love habit − friendship “[15, p. 23-24]. At the same time, it should be noted that, the nature of marital relations depends on the degree of affection of partners’ love for each other, on the other – the nature of these marital relations affects the strength and degree of manifestation of love by partners. In the opinion of V.I. Zatsepin, marriage is characterized by a certain periodicity of positive emotions vibrations. In the generalized form, the periodicity of the emotional relations of the spouses can be represented as five stages, differing from each other by the magnitude of the emotional excitement and the direction of emotions, the character of the behavior of the spouses, the importance of their direct contacts in the process of marital intercourse [133]. The development of marital relations, their content, arising problems are dictated by the laws of interpersonal relations. In marital relations, four levels are distinguished: psychophysiological, psychological, socio-psychological, social and cultural [134]. So, the psychophysiological level includes the intimate sphere of the relationship of the spouses. Intimate relationships are for a

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human a source of positive emotions, pleasure and happiness in love. In the opinion of experts (I.S. Kon, K. Imelinskii, A.M. Svyadoshch, A.V. Godlevskaya, etc.), sexual contact has lost direct physiological significance and is a means of relaxation; procreation (continuation of the genus); procreation; recreation (restoration); gaining sensual pleasure; knowledge; communication (when intimacy is rendered as a deep personal intimacy); sexual self-assertion; verification (and demonstration) of their capabilities; replacement of other ways of emotional satisfaction. For a contemporary marriage, the harmony of sexual relations has acquired special significance precisely because sexuality brings elements of higher emotional experiences into the relationship of husband and wife. At the same time, the psychological aspects of marital communication and interaction are the leading component of intimate relationships that contribute to the most complete sexual harmony of spouses. The ability to maintain harmony of intimate relationships depends, first of all, on the psychic and ethical culture of the spouses. The psychological level of marital relations reflects the specifics of personal informal communication between spouses on the basis of selective contact, which creates a psychological atmosphere between partners that favors the fullest expression of the person, supports and stimulates the development of individuality, gives the psychotherapeutic effect of understanding, acceptance, approval of personality (N.N. Obozov, A.N. Volkova). The social-psychological level of relations characterizes the sphere of interaction between husband and wife in the process of realization of marital roles. In the special literature, because of the breadth of the range of role relationships of the spouses, there are many different classifications of marital roles. We specify only one of them. The American researcher K. Kirkpatrick [135] distinguishes three main types of roles: traditional roles (duties of the wife-mother and husbandfather), comradely roles (the role of companions) and the role of partners. The nature of marital relations depends on the consistency of the values of the husband and wife and the role representations of the spouses on who and to what extent is responsible for the

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

realization of a certain family sphere. Family functions, refracted in the consciousness of the individual, act as attitudes towards family values. The discrepancy of family values is one of the reasons for the role mismatch between spouses. As a rule, the discrepancy between the family values of the husband and wife is a consequence of the differences in their upbringing, and patterns of behavior adopted in the parent family. Coherence of family values does not guarantee a married couple from differences in role behavior. The adequacy of the role behavior of the spouses depends on the correspondence of the role expectations (mindsets of a husband and a wife to actively fulfill certain functions in the family) to the role aspirations of the spouses (personal willingness of each partner to fulfill family roles). The formation of role sets for the realization of the basic functions of the family begins long before the person enters into the status of “husband” and “wife.” Social and cultural level of marital relations affects the aspect of spiritual interaction of partners. The generality of value orientations, life goals, motivation of social behavior, interests and needs of husband and wife allows us to talk about the spiritual compatibility of spouses. The similarity of value orientations and main interests are an important condition for the formation of the value-oriented unity of the family (married couple) as a small group. The conformity of sets, assessments, and opinions of the spouses contributes to the identification of significant goals for joint activities. The community of meaningful experiences, value orientations, opinions and attitudes can be viewed as a community of partners’ culture. According to V.M. Sokovkin, the similarity of culture as a similarity of specific ideas about the surrounding world and about him/herself is the objective basis of mutual understanding. Marital relations as one of the types of interpersonal relationships arise and develop in the process of communication. Interpersonal relations are mutual willingness of subjects to a certain type of interaction, which is accompanied by emotional experience, positive, indifferent, negative. Readiness for interaction can be realized in the behavior of subjects in conditions of communication, joint activity. It is joint activity, communication that reveal the character of interpersonal

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relationships. Therefore, it is necessary to consider them in more detail. In domestic psychology there are several points of view on communication as a psychological phenomenon, and consequently, there are many definitions. Let us consider only some of them. B.F. Lomov stressed that communication is a multidimensional and multifunctional process, and its most important function is the formation of interpersonal relations – has been least studied [136]. “Communication is information and subject interaction, in the process of which an interpersonal relationship is realized, manifested and formed” [137]. But communication is not only information and subject interaction, it is accompanied by the exchange of emotional states, why emotional contact arises and establishes, and the needs for communication are met. Communication and attitude are inextricably linked with each other [138]. The problem of subject-subject relations and subject-subject interaction [139] is one of great importance issue in the general psychology. In the works of leading Soviet psychologists, theoretical provisions have been developed on the specifics of subject-subject relations. Communication, according to V.N. Myasishchev [140], is not a purely external interaction, but is determined by personal relationships between the participants, i.e. its parameters in the course of communication depend on the relationship between subjects of communication. V.N. Myasishchev highlighted three classes of relationships: relationship to the world, to other people, to yourself. Interpersonal relationships, in general, and marital relations, in particular, belong to the second group. In the works of B.G. Ananyev [92] poined out that at any level of complexity of personality behavior, there is an interdependence between information about people in interpersonal relationships, communication and self-regulation of human actions in the process of communication. Deep ideas about the specificity of subject-subject relations are developed in the works of B.F. Lomov. He noted that the specificity of communication, unlike any other types of interaction, is precisely that

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it reveals the psychological qualities of people. “In the communication of people, those properties are manifested that characterize them as subjects” [141]. As an explanatory principle for the study of interpersonal relations (IR), A.V. Petrovskii [142; 143; 60, etc.] proposes the principle of the activity mediation of interpersonal relations in groups and collectives, based on the general psychological theory of L.S. Vygotskii, A.N. Leontyev. This principle of activity mediation, in the opinion of A.G. Asmolov [144, p. 288-289], allows to overcome the existing parallelism in the study of interpersonal relations, which manifests itself in the analysis of interpersonal relations outside of joint activity, and in joint activity – outside interpersonal relationships. Therefore, according to the scientist, joint objective activity, firstly, generates, creates interpersonal relations of its participants; secondly, it is an instrument through which only interpersonal relations can be transformed; and, finally, thirdly, the process of implementing interpersonal relations in the course of joint activities represents the driving force behind the development of a social group, in particular, the family. Through the use of the category of joint activity, A.V. Petrovskii introduces into psychology the idea of the development of a social group. This idea is conceptually recorded through the notion of “group development level”. Since the family and marital relations have their development, this is reflected in the concepts of “stages”, “steps”, “periods” (this issue was considered in section 1.1). Speaking about the role of communication and joint activity in the development of interpersonal relations, K.A. AbulkhanovaSlavskaya emphasizes that “personal feelings and relationships color all spheres of an individual’s life. Communication as the construction of relationships, on the one hand, forms human feelings, on the other – regulates behavior, actions. Personal relations should have developed not only on love and sympathy, but also on real actions, care, help, support. It is not by chance that one of the most important reasons for the breakdown of family relations or the inability to create them, according to the scientist, it is the illusion that feelings do not require any real business “evidence” [91, p. 175].

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A specific form of dyadic interpersonal interaction is dialogue (in a broad sense). In particular, in the family and the married couple, interaction and mutual understanding is ensured by the joint-dialogic cognitive activity (JDCA) (Dzhakupov, 1992). According to N.N. Obozov [145, p. 4], dealing with the problem of interpersonal relations, at the present time, the need to distinguish three components and interconnected components in the structure of interaction, communication of people: behavioral, affective, cognitive (Y.L. Kolominskii) is increasingly evident; affective, gnostic (A.A. Bodalev); regulative, affective, informational (B.F. Lomov). Despite the conventionality of the difference between the three components and their incomplete terminological coincidence, the scientist believes that the fruitfulness of their use in research is obvious. And if the cognitive relationship may not be accompanied by behavioral interaction, then emotional mutual dependence is an attribute of any human connection (relationship). With the official organization of the relationship, the behavioral component is the leading one in regulating interpersonal relationships, with the informal organization the main regulatory function is performed by the emotional component. Behavioral component includes the results of activities and deeds, facial expressions, gestures, pantomime, locomotion, and finally speech, i.e. all that an individual’s personality manifests and can be observed by other people. Emotional component includes all that is associated with the states and can be fixed at the levels of physiological registration and subjective reports. These are, first of all, positive and negative emotional states, conflict of states (intrapersonal, interpersonal), emotional sensitivity, self-satisfaction, partner, work, etc. The Cognitive component of the personality of the interacting individual includes all the mental processes associated with the cognition of the environment and of oneself. The cognitive component is characterized by all the features of mutual understanding of partners, including adequacy and identification. Three-component structure (highlighted by M.K.) of the classification of interaction phenomena is widely used in the theory of sets [146]. For all its imperfection (the intersection of the volumes of its constituent components), it is convenient in explaining many phenomena of human interaction:

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interpersonal relations, compatibility, etc. It can be mentioned the weak theoretical elaboration of this classification, but practical and experimental work confirms the expediency of its use. In our thesis research, we used this principle. Marital communion, as well as interpersonal, is inherently multifunctional. First of all, through mutual communication, there is mutual knowledge of thoughts, feelings, interests, there are a restructuring and harmonization of the value orientations of the spouses, the creation of a common family system of values, i.e. valuesemantic unity. How important this process is evidenced by data on the causes of divorce: the lack of mutual understanding as a consequence of common views and interests, which in the general series of reasons for the disintegration of the family today ranks first. In the process of communication, the spouses also solve the problem of the distribution of family roles, especially at the initial stage of joint life. Like mutual knowledge, as a result of which the mutual adaptation of the spouses is carried out, the process of allocating roles takes place against the background of the relative psychological tension of intra-family relations. Finally, communication enables the emotional unification of the spouses, which is especially important in a young family. Obviously, communication as a process of unity presupposes, first of all, the compatibility of emotional perception. The unity of emotional perception is one of the necessary conditions for the formation of a happy family, since it connects young spouses with a common spiritual world, a joint positive experience, and strengthens in them a sense of the value and significance of their family [100, p. 12-13]. In this case marital communication performs an important psychotherapeutic task. The couple has to solve a lot of small and large cases daily concerning the life of the family, and the success of marital decisions largely depends on the ability of the spouses to make reciprocal concessions, taking into account interests, desires, intentions [117, p. 97]. Consequently, the main factor ensuring the success of the marriage union (according to the estimates of young spouses) is the presence in the family of mutual understanding (97%) [100, p. 31].

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More and more researchers point to the important role of mutual understanding in the process of interpersonal communication, the absence of which hinders the process of communication or makes it impossible. S.L. Rubinstein included mutual understanding to the number of characteristics defining communication, along with the transmission of thoughts and experiences [147]. Mutual understanding arises in the joint activity of people. Being a social creature, a person can realize him/herself only through other people, through the whole aggregate of his/her relations with them. And the existence of a single program of joint activities enhances mutual understanding between its participants [65, p.113]. Mutual understanding or mutual misunderstanding is one of the essential moments of the emergence, development and disintegration of interpersonal relationships. The problem of understanding in communication shows that it is necessary to take into account not absolute, but relative human meanings, since at least two different subjects with their values, ideas and ideals participate in communication. Often, mutual understanding or understanding by one person of another is considered as the degree of correspondence of the first external impression of a person to his/her inner qualities and social belonging. It is in this sense that A.A. Bodalev spoke about the understanding of a human by human [88]. To the problem of understanding also addressed N.N. Obozov and E.I. Golovakha. N.N. Obozov considered mutual understanding as one of the psychological properties of interpersonal relationships and drew particular attention to the sex-role factor in interpersonal understanding. N.N. Obozov writes: “studies often emphasize”, that in interpersonal understanding for women, more than for men, emotional coloring of relationships is important. Even in the content of the term “understanding”, young men are often stressed moments of objective knowledge and intellectual similarity, and girls – emotional components (empathy, sympathy), and women are less biased towards representatives of their own gender than men. Women are more adequate in understanding men in all cases when there is a sign of positive relations in the couple. Men are more adequate

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in understanding women, if they have with them either negative or indifferent attitudes” [148, p. 115]. S.I. Golovakha pointed out, that “in order to avoid the most serious errors in understanding other people need, above all, do not forget that other, primarily means different from me. Do not judge others by yourself – an elementary rule of mutual understanding. And “understand me” is, first, listen; secondly, – correctly interpret the meaning of what I have said; thirdly, sincerely sympathize, and, finally, help me” [149, p. 61]. It should be noted, that the psychology of understanding at the present time becomes one of the significant areas of psychological science. In Kazakhstan, this area of research is represented by the work of a prominent scientist A.M. Kim. She summarized the experience of studying the problem of understanding and presented her own concept of the mechanisms of the understanding process [150; 151]. It is important for us saying of A.M. Kim, about the impossibility or inefficiency of any interaction without mutual understanding [151, p. 4]. The first, who make the family communication the main topic of their research were D. Jackson, J. Weakland, J. Bunvenu (1961, 1970). Since then, these questions have attracted many psychologists and psychotherapists [152, p. 98]. Initially, the process of communication between spouses was understood very simply. It was considered that the spouses exchange opinions only when they want to do this, that they transmit what they want to transmit, and do not communicate to each other what they do not want to communicate. It seemed also quite clear that those who are informed adequately understand what they are told. Later, the research of E.G. Eidemiller and V.V. Yustitskii showed that the process of communication is much more complicated. They identified a number of intermediate phenomena, transfer mechanisms that provide the process of information exchange between spouses (the choice of the content of the message, its coding, transmission, reception, decoding, selection of the response message content). In relation to interpersonal communication, the role of intention to enter into communication (need, motive), the formation of a message, the processes of expressing a message in some code (language), conveying information in a certain interpersonal, communication situation, its perception, decoding and interpretation (understanding).

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They stated that the above-mentioned stages in the process of informational communication are provided by a complex set of psychological mechanisms, each of which has no the infinite effectiveness and can “fail”. Violation within these mechanisms leads to distortion of information, restriction of its transmission and, thus, causes ineffectiveness of all subsequent steps [152, p. 101]. These practical scientists considered the causes of the disruption of the communication processes, its impact on the family and each member, in particular, and paid great attention to the development of various methods to improve the effectiveness of mutual understanding in the family. The most important, from the point of understanding the processes occurring during communication between spouses, is the identification of numerous moments that can impede communication, distort its meaning (the barriers of communication). It turned out that in the course of mutual communication between spouses there can be a variety of phenomena that are not very visible to the “naked eye”, but worsen the process of communication and, accordingly, affect mutual understanding. Special attention was paid to the problem of mutual understanding between the spouses by domestic psychologists A.A. Kronic and E.A. Kronic. They considered the main reasons that could lead to misunderstanding. So, one of the reasons for the misunderstanding between spouses is that each of the spouses puts into words their own meaning, which may not coincide with the meaning that the other spouse puts to it. “Every word is a password, every word means something, but something hides, every word is a means of discovering and hiding the truth” [153, p. 114]. An important reason for misunderstanding is also that the experience of each of the spouses is unique, unrepeatable. Therefore, even with a sincere desire to be understood, when choosing the most accurate words, if there is a counter interest from another spouse, there is no guarantee that everything will be understood correctly. They gave the following definition of mutual understanding: “this is the decoding of each other’s messages in the course of communication, in which the meaning of the message is viewed from the point of view of the recipient (perceiver) in the communicative

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sense from the point of view of the communicator (producing the message). That is, mutual understanding such a deciphering of each other’s messages, which corresponds to the meaning of these messages from the point of view of their authors. At the same time, the message refers to any information transmitted by partners to each other with the help of words, gestures, facial expressions, any other signs of communication” [153, p. 115]. According to the opinion established in the domestic psychology, communication is manifested in the unity of its three sides: communicative, perceptual and interactive [57, p. 81]. In verbal communication, rather, the objectified part of meaning is transmitted, since the process of verbalization is a signification, awareness, objectification of meanings. Social perception and interaction facilitate the transfer of meanings through additional clarification of the meaning itself and through the transmission of meanings encoded in nonverbal communication means. In intimate forms of communication, characterized by a high coefficient of the transfer of meanings, a complete reduction of verbal communication (“understanding without words”) is possible. This may give the impression of a direct transfer of meanings. Nevertheless, here, we are dealing with the transfer of values, but coded in a certain way in non-verbal means of information transfer and therefore difficult to detect in intimate forms of communication. Although, of course, it is possible to detect common principles of coding. It seems expedient to single out a special emotional channel of communication. Its peculiarity is determined by the fact that it permeates all three sides of communication: communicative, perceptual and interactive. As one of the founders of the activity approach in psychology, A.N. Leontyev, emotions directly signal to consciousness about personal senses [154]. In the conditions of joint activity, the emotions of one subject can be a signal about personal senses for another subject. In this case, the signal function can be realized through all three main communication channels. No less important moment of mutual understanding, according to N.N. Obozov, is “agreement”. Agreement – disagreement, as is known, is the main regulator of communication, interaction. Without the

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partners’ agreement, even external and superficial, their functioning as a whole is impossible [148, p. 116]. An essential characteristic of mutual understanding is its adequacy, understood as the accuracy and objectivity of the reflection of the partner’s personality. The adequacy of mutual understanding depends on a number of factors, among which – the nature of the relationship between partners (distinguished by the level of interconnectedness, sign and valence), the degree of “manifestation” and “observability” of the personal qualities of people who know each other. For a more accurate understanding of each other, people need some optimal time and tight closeness (mutual dependence). The lack of one or the other limits the receipt and disclosure of the necessary information about each other. As a general mechanism of understanding the personality of the other is identification. If the external manifestations of mutual understanding are the ability to sympathy and complicity, to empathy and sympathy, to agreement and coherence in joint actions, then the inner, deep foundation of all these manifestations is the ability for mutual assimilation and identification. The level of mutual understanding largely depends on the cohesion of any social group, including the family. And not only cohesion but also efficiency, effectiveness of their activity. Mutual understanding is not given to people in the finished form. It is developed, established in the process of subject-oriented and effective relationships, cooperation between people [155]. When the word acts as an irritant, its meaning, its semantics, is of primary importance. As A.N. Leontyev noted, it is necessary to distinguish between social meaning as a unit of social consciousness in the semantic structure and its meaning for the individual – a personal meaning. A.N. Leontyev gives his definition to these concepts. The meaning is “a generalized reflection of reality that has been worked out by mankind and fixed in the form of a concept, knowledge, or even skill” as a “generalized mode of action”, “norms of behavior”, etc., which is the achievement of my consciousness”. As personal meaning is understood the relation of the subject to the world, expressed in meanings, that is, as it were, the “meaning of meaning” for the

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individual, inextricably linked with its motives, its general orientation. This concept reflects the “partiality” of the attitude toward the world of the active subject [156]. Every word is represented from its external, objective side (meaning) and its internal, subjective side (meaning) [3, p. 34]. The famous philosopher V. Frankl, who considered the problem of human search for the meaning of life, points out that “meaning is relative insofar as it refers to a specific person involved in a particular situation, and the meaning varies, first, from person to person and second, from one day to the next one” [157]. So, the individual semantic context is an open system, constantly changing throughout the life of the individual. Speaking about the important role of mutual understanding in a married couple, it is necessary to highlight the practical side of its study. So, in working with families to study interpersonal relationships in a married couple, A.A. Kronic, E.A. Kronic [153] use a two-circle test when the couples are asked to depict their relationship using two circles. Scientists have conducted extensive research involving prosperous couples, when he and she love and are attached to each other. The results turned out to be very interesting. It turned out that everyone has his/her own limit of psychological rapprochement with his/her spouse. This is the distance, in violation of which communication becomes difficult, painful, uncomfortable. In men, the distance is usually longer, in women – shorter. And if the husband at first, adjusting to his beloved wife, communicates with her at “female”, shorter distances, then this search causes a subsequent decline, a distance, the desire to move away a little in the psychological, internal sense. It was revealed that men love no less than women, they just love in a male style. To the question “Why do men and women need different “distances”? The following answer was received: “Men want that the limit of psychological rapprochement has never been reached, so will be the possibility of movement, in other words, a space in which it is still possible to be closer to each other. In order for a woman to always keep something unsolved, unknowable – perhaps this is the main law

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of female attractiveness. And men, preventing complete dissolution in love, not wanting to communicate at such short distances that women want to communicate, in fact, take care of women’s attractiveness, as the artist steps back a few steps to admire his picture”. Authors believe, there are spouses, for whom the need for a psychological rapprochement is approximately the same. Such couples are generally safe, stable even with some “but”, because the coincidence of the required psychological distances is one of the main pillars of the family home. Each person, loving another one, builds, nurtures, protects, cherishes the common thing. “We” is something between them inseparable, indivisible. We – arises and develops in the process of joint activity of partners, and, consequently, WE is the result of joint activity. Without love, without this We, without need of someone, a person loses in life, his/her personality, his/her I this has already become a common place. But even without the I, without the inner wealth of him/herself, human is incapable of creating another with the other We. Therefore, everyone, apart from We, must build, nurture, protect, cherish his/her own I, – psychologists say. This test also makes it possible to judge the well-being of interpersonal relationships. A major American specialist in family psychotherapy Carl Whitaker believes that divorce is generally meaningless. It is necessary simply (although it is not at all simple) to adjust relations all the time, to take them out of dead ends, to direct the energy of conflicts to personal growth of both, rather than to mutual accusations and divorce. Otherwise, the whole energy of the relationship, the wisdom developed in them, the whole experience goes to eventually blame each other, to shift the blame and responsibility onto the other. And then people leave the marriage absolutely beggars, naked in the spiritual sense. They are eternal and not very happy viewers who are doomed not understand the next performance. According to experts, the two circles are another opportunity to graphically represent human relationships. They resemble the Venn diagrams known in the set theory, depicting the logical relationships between any classes, concepts, and properties. Similar circles were

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used by B.F. Porshnev, discussing the dialectics of the relationship They and We, and the American psychologist J. Levinger illustrated the stages of interaction of people in a couple [158; 159; 160; 161]. Circles of relationships reflect the inner psychological space of communication. I and the Other – We – if we have much common things; I, He – if there are few common things. In addition, the study also examined the interaction and communication from the standpoint of the widely known and most widely used transactional analysis of E. Berne [162; 163]. In his theory, the basic concepts are ego states and transactions. Under egostates, Berne understands the relatively independent and isolated in the inner world of a person a set of emotions, attitudes and patterns of behavior that are as if discrete and can manifest themselves in behavior separately. E. Berne distinguishes three such isolated complexes of sets and methods of behavior: Parent, Adult and Child. Parent – this is an ego-state, feelings, attitudes and habitual behavior of which refer to the role of the Parent. The Adult’s condition is turned to the reality, the Child’s state is the actualization of the set of attitudes and behavior developed in childhood. It is assumed that at any time, each person can be either an Adult or a Parent or a Child, and the specific ego state from which the conversation is conducted determines the position and status of the person in communication. It is important that, according to the theory of transactional analysis, the Parent, Adult and Child are not abstract conglomerates of behavioral and reaction styles, they are based on the very concrete and significant memories available to each person that cannot always be arbitrarily recalled, but which nevertheless exist and exert a perceptible influence on the behavior of a person. Therefore, my Parent is not only a generalized position, but also specific personal memories of how my mother or my father reacted to a similar situation, – it is like I adopted their style of behavior. My child is not a Child at all, but this is I am in a childhood in such a situation. Nevertheless, in the positions of the Parent, Adult and Child there is a general – the direction of behavior

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that is clearly visible in everything: in intonations, vocabulary, characteristic poses, etc. The second most important concept is “transaction”, i.e. interaction in communication, which is understood as the interaction of certain positions [164]. The points of view on the nature and character of marital relations examined in this section make it possible to draw the following conclusions about the fact that: 1) marital relations are the main subsystem of the “family” system, which determines the nature of relations in its other subsystems; 2) marital relations are the most complex type of interpersonal relationships; 3) marital relations represent a special psychological phenomenon that arises and develops in the process of communication and joint life; 4) success (efficiency) of the functioning and development of relations between spouses depends on the degree of their mutual understanding achieved by harmonizing individual perceptions, values, sets. The measure of coherence, is an indicator of the formation and level of the general fund of semantic formations and the degree of its appropriation by each partner; 5) it is possible to witness such a phenomenon as marital infantilism. It arises from the discrepancy between the relationships of the spouses to their current views on how to build joint livelihoods, which becomes one of the main causes of disagreements and conflicts in the family, and manifests itself in a weak degree of coherence of representations, family values, sets in a married couple. At the same time, a low level of consistency in the couple indicates either a low level of the formation of a general fund of semantic formations, or about different degrees of appropriation by partners of the GFSF. The reason for this can serve as an ignorance of partners that interpersonal (marital) relations are dynamic, requiring their development in each new period of life together, and ignorance of the ways and methods of their development, or inability to use them or unwillingness to develop their relationship. In this way, marital infantilism is a phenomenon that manifests itself when the general fund of semantic formations formed by spouses does not change in accordance with changing relations in time.

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1.3. Stabilization of the marital relationships as a result of joint life activity The problem of marital relations and family relations stabilization again (after the 80s of the twentieth century) acquires special relevance in connection with the emerging tendency to increase the number of divorces not only in our republic, but also in many CIS countries. Before proceeding a direct analysis of the problem, it is necessary to define the concepts of “stability” and “stabilization”, which are not divided and are identified by many authors. In the specialized literature (sociological, social-psychological), the notion of “stability” means strength, stability, balance, adaptation, well-being, cohesion, amity – as opposed to “conflict”, “problem”, “trouble,” and there is not a clear definition of “stabilization”. It should be noted that in the works of many researchers on the problems of family and marriage, more attention is paid not to internal mechanisms for the welfare and stability of marital relations, but to external factors and the reasons by which they explain the stability of the family. So, in the sociological literature, according to V.I. Kosacheva, some family doctors under “stability” mean well-being [165]. However, in our opinion, which coincides with the opinion of this author, it is hardly possible to fully identify these two concepts if stability is understood as well-being. After all, the family can be quite stable (balanced), and it may be unfavorable, conflictual, but for one reason or another it continues to function right up to its natural end. People remain married because of the difficulties of a psychological breakdown, for neurotic reasons: guilt consciousness, fear of change, emotional instability, unreasonable hopes, and other factors that force uncomfortable relationships. All this can be true for stable marriages, but not giving emotional satisfaction to partners. “... In addition, there is a hidden, implicit destabilization of marriage (that is, the situation where the spouses formally marry for one reason or another and the family ceases to fulfill its emotional and cultural functions)”, – Z. Feinburg rightly notes in the study of the genesis of family stability and points out that “this instability is higher than formal, obvious instability” [166, p. 7-18].

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A.V. Godlevskaya singles out two concepts: “stable” marriage and “stabilization” of marriage. A stable marriage is a marriage based on the harmony of marital relations, determined by the nature and content of the functions performed by the spouses. Stabilization of marriage is a process that promotes the creation of such a family form, which presupposes mutual relations of spouses on the basis of love, duty, responsibility, qualitatively new forms of mutual relations between parents and children, which is the basis for the comprehensive harmonious development of family members [15, p. 37]. We in our research do an analysis of the psychological factors of stabilization of marriage and family relations, using the concept of “stabilization”, because we believe that marital (and family) relationships (i.e., relations between spouses and between parents and children) cannot be regarded as a kind of static (constant) education and talk about the stability of marriage or family, especially since we are talking about factors like conditions of the process of stabilization of marital relations. Only in case of comparison it is permissible to talk about stable or unstable marriages as a result of confrontation with destructive forces. We regard stabilization as a process aimed at developing and preserving the process-dynamic characteristics of the family throughout its life activity, taking into account changes in the personality of each spouse, their interpersonal relationships and the family as a whole. The process of stabilizing the family by itself is not homogeneous, it can identify several stages that correspond to different periods of the family’s life, taking into account its composition. For example, A.N. Baranov defines three periods of relative stability and two periods of relative instability of the family. The family is less stable (unbalanced), when the couple is 18 to 34 years old. This is the period of marriage, separation from parents and the birth of children. The most stable family is in spouses in the age of 40-49. After the separation of the grown up children, the family again loses its stability, while the 60-year-olds again stabilize the family [19, p. 79]. Three periods of stability correspond to three forms of the family: the primary, in which the human was born and brought up; secondary, in which the human created him/herself; and tertiary, which is preserved after the grown

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up children created their own families. Two periods of the family instability – this is the time of transition from one family form to another, or the transformation of the family from one state to another. According to most scientists, the degree of stability is characterized by the level of conflict and cohesion. So, the Russian (Soviet) social psychologist V.V. Shpalinskii “cohesion” defines through the concept of “density.” “The density itself,” “is understood as an integral characteristic of the system of intra-group relationships, showing the level or degree of agreement of the opinions, attitudes and positions of group members with respect to objects, persons, phenomena, events that are most significant for the group as a whole” [98, from. 8]. In our opinion, the identified determining “degree of coincidence of opinions” is an essential, but not sufficient, characteristic that determines the stability of the family. In addition to similarities, coincidences of opinions, etc., there should be an agreed and joint, mutual acceptance by each of the spouses. The Polish researcher Ya. Shchepanskii, in opposition to “cohesion”, considers the concept of “conflictability” and defines it as a collision caused by contradictions in attitudes, goals and methods of action with respect to a specific subject or situation [22, p. 148]. Also there are individual researchers who tend to associate factors that stabilize the family, with the nature of needs, interests of spouses and the performance of various functions. In their works they point to the importance not only of the emotional or intellectual compatibility of the spouses for the successful functioning of the family, but they also do not detract from the role of such factors as “the presence (absence) of children” or “love of children”, “the general living space” or “unsecured living space”, “insufficient material security” and “unsettled children” [167; 168]. In the 1980s, several social-psychological theories analyzed the mechanisms of family stability. For example, “stability of marriage” is defined by V.A. Sysenko as “the stability of interpersonal relations” [117, p. 7-8]. There are a lot of russian (Soviet) and foreign literature on the research of factors of stability and stabilization of the family. Its

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analysis, covering not all sources, but allowed us to identify more than two hundred factors contributing to the strengthening the family. Obviously, they all carry a different intensity, but the fact of such a number indicates the level of study of factors of marriage stabilization at the present stage. However, their accounting and usage in the scientific and practical work of specialists dealing with issues of marriage and family is impossible because of their non-systematic nature. Despite the fact that empirical studies devoted to revealing the factors of the stability of marriage are more numerous than the theoretical ones, a shift has recently begun in the direction of increasing general, secondary analysis and theoretically oriented papers [170; 33; 20; 171; 117; 172, etc.]. One of the attempts to take into account and analyze a large number of factors in the success of marital relations in creating a marriage quality model was the work of American scientists R.A. Levis and Gr. B. Spanier [172, p. 39-43], where there are highlighted 47 characteristics of a successful family. All these characteristics are divided into groups of factors such as pre-marital, socio-economic and intra-marital. Researcher devoted the great importance to the description of various aspects of communication, which, still do not allow to consider them as one-order determinants of a stable marriage despite the fact of their grouping. The main idea arising from the study of R.A. Levis and Gr.B. Spanier, is that the more spouses have similarities in views on various aspects of life, the more successful the marriage could be. In the Russian (Soviet) sociological, demographic, psychological and pedagogical literature, more emphasis is placed on various aspects of family strengthening. The sociological factors of family stability were analyzed by K.A. Akopdzhanjan [173]. However, the works published in recent years require analysis and evaluation, because many factors considered by sociologists are in fact psychological or socio-psychological. This can be seen from the definition of the author: “As “stable” families are understood families where there are cooperation, mutual understanding of spouses, their emotional

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closeness, satisfaction of both spouses with marriage and each other, low level of conflict is observed”. And further: “Unstable families include families that are not broken up, but in which conflict situations often happen, there are also lack of mutual understanding and coordination of actions on a number of socially important problems for the family, partial dissatisfaction of both spouses or one of them by their marriage and spouse” [173, p. 40]. A.N. Volkova considers, that the social-psychological approach at the study of successful marriage seems to be one of the promising, since the results of such study can lead to a theoretical basis to strengthen the family, the regulation of marriage and marriage choice and family psychotherapy [170, p. 14]. The problem of the stability of marriage was reflected in the works of such sociologists as S.I. Golod, Z.I. Fainburg, N.G. Yurkevich, A.G. Kharchev, E.A. Tiit, V.A. Sysenko, Z.A. Yankova, etc. In these studies, the family is considered in the process of individual development, for the fate of the individual family depends on the dynamics of the processes occurring within it [20; 174; 23; 2; 175; 176; 117; 177; 26]. So, in the works of N.G. Yurkevich [23] contains the idea that the stability of the family implies the stability of the marriage relationship. As shown by Y.I. Semenov, M. Wingen [7; 178] and others, the concepts of “family” and “marriage” do not necessarily coincide in content. Recently there has been a tendency to revise these concepts, previously almost completely merged and combined (Wingen M., 1984). Therefore, according to A.G. Kharchev, it is impossible to stabilize the family by influencing the marriage relations by “dressing” the external “hoops” that fasten the family, without regard to the will and desire of the persons within it [179]. Since the fact that “the factors of direct impact on the stability of marriage lie to the decisive degree” inside the personality “is generally accepted, then society should purposefully optimize the conditions of these factors” from the outside” [174, p. 17]. At the same time, the family is recognized not as a simple combination of parts, but as something more, which, therefore, allows us to conclude that it is possible to influence interpersonal relations by improving the system of social planning and using economic, organizational, ethical and other

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mechanisms. In this system of methods, as noted A.G. Kharchev, “the personality acts as a mediating link between social relations and the family” [2, p. 35]. Sociologists distinguish not only the methodological aspects of studying the factors of family stability, but also the factors themselves, their types. So, for example, E.A. Tiit identified three types of factors, affecting on the stability of the family: – the first is connected with the personality of the individual, his/ her origin and family upbringing; – the second – with prehistory and marriage conditions; – the third, which is revealed during a joint life, is connected both with the organization of family life, and with the influence of various intra-family relations, as well as contacts of family members with other groups in society [175]. The influence of the parental family on the success of the functioning of the “child” family (the family created by adult children) was investigated by other scientists [180; 181; 182, etc.]. Among the factors analyzed in the sociological literature, but not “purely sociological”, we can note: 1) motives for the marriage; 2) readiness of spouses for family life; 3) satisfaction in marriage. Love is the leading motive for the creation of a family, but not all scientists recognize its decisive role in stabilizing the relationship between spouses. This is a consequence of the lack of full development in the scientific literature of the theme of “love” (the psychology of love), which, in turn, sometimes leads to a confusion of concepts [2; 5; 183; 128]. It should be emphasized the point of view of the prominent Russian specialist in the field of family psychology and marriage, V.A. Sysenko, who considers that the satisfaction of the emotional and psychological needs of the spouses (satisfaction of the needs for mutual assistance and mental support, mutual understanding, satisfaction of the feeling own dignity, in the sense of its importance, significance). Consequently, according to the scientist, marriage is stable only when marital communication carries a positive emotional charge, when neither of the spouses feels a sense of estrangement and

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mental loneliness [4, p. 13-14], when neither of the spouses feels a sense of estrangement and mental loneliness [4, p. 13-14]. A number of researchers, as N.G. Yurkevich, V.A. Sysenko, Z.A. Yankova, N.Ya. Solovev, L.S. Shchilova, D.Ya. Kutsar, E.A. Tiit, E.F. Safro, A.G. Kharchev, T.A. Mishina, N.I. Kungurova, V.I. Perevedencev, Yu.B. Ryurikov and others, rightly point out that one of the most important factors of the stability of marriage is the position of a woman in the family, combined with her position in society. In some works, there is a correlation between the level of spousal neuroticism and the quality of marriage [184], between the level of self-actualization of each spouse and the quality of marriage [128]. So, according to A. Maslow, the spouses, who were characterized by a high level of personal maturity, noted that their marital relations were stable, frank and sincere. Spouses were interested in the personal development of their partner, contributing to this in every way. Despite the mosaic nature of the problems and the breadth of researches about the factors of the stability of marriage, special attention should be paid to Yan Shchepanskii’s attempt to determine the most significant signs of a successful marriage. He wrote that “the internal cohesion of marriage and family is supported by the influence of both internal and external forces. Internal forces include: 1) mutual love where it is decisive in choosing a spouse; 2) sense of duty towards spouses and children; 3) mutual aspiration for advancement, career, livability; 4) caring for a joint home, a household, caring for children, a division of labor in this field; 5) conscious or unconscious desire to justify the expectations of the environment, relatives and wider groups; 6) aspiration to realize own dreams and representations of the period of engagement (courtship); 7) possibility of harmonious development of the personality and the use of marriage as a means of realizing the expansive aspirations of the person. External forces are: 1) magic sanctions, which sometimes make it impossible to divorce;

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2) pressure of public opinion or the system of sanctions, when the recognized position in society is denied to people from broken families; 3) pressure of economic conditions; 4) requirements imposed by the environment of caring for children” [22, p. 134]. It should be noted, that N. Ackerman introduced the concept of “family stability” into psychological literature. In his understanding the family stability combined with family identity. The latter was seen as “the content of values, aspirations, expectations, anxieties and adaptation problems shared by family members or complemented by them in the process of fulfilling family roles”, i.e. cognitive and emotional “We” of this family [185]. Famous domestic psychologist V.V. Stolin refers to the stability of the family as “preservation in time”, which implies “the preservation of identity in time, control over conflicts and the ability of the family to change and further development” [185, p. 107]. In general, the dialectical correlation of the family’s identity and stability is manifested in the following: “By preserving the “We”, which includes the self-dependent interdependent “I”, constantly changing its content in accordance with the requirements of the development of the whole family and individual and controlling the inevitably arising conflicts and contradictions” [185, p. 107-108]. N.N. Obozov and A.N. Obozovа distinguish subjective and objective, external and internal factors of family stability [186]. To external objective factors, the authors attribute the stability of the social system to the material conditions of the existence of the family; external subjective – the power of social control (the effectiveness of legal and moral norms, national and cultural traditions, the expectations of a significant environment). The internal subjective factors of the stability of marriage are emotional connections, and the indicators of marital compatibility refer to internal objective factors. Since the role of internal factors of the stability of marriage is decisive, they must be “diluted” according to the levels reflecting the degree of significance in the sustainability of marital relations. In one of the joint works of N.N. Obozov and A.N. Obozova [134, p. 148] attempted to single out independent levels of relations in marriage,

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such as: psychophysiological, psychological, socio-psychological, sociocultural. In his other works N.N. Obozov determines five types (levels) of compatibility [34; 187], which, in the end, are reduced to two: functional and psychological compatibility. In addition to works of N.N. Obozov, dedicated to the factors of marital compatibility, there are a number of works of other researchers: A.N. Volkova, Ya.L. Kolominskii, Yu.N. Oleinik and others [36; 188; 189; 190]. Some of the findings of A.N. Volkova were significant for our dissertation thesis [36], which was made under the supervision of N.N. Obozov. There are the main conclusions of her work: 1) marital compatibility acts as a coherence of family values and role expectations-claims in the realization of family functions; 2) it is more important to harmonize family values, whereas in the distribution of family roles, there are possible mutual adaptation and correction of sets; 3) the integration of the spouses’ views on the family structure as a whole is a very individual process, which has its own peculiarities in each particular case [170, p. 15]. Expressing agreement on some aspects of the issue under consideration, In our study we took the idea of the consistency of family values, notions, attitudes, but it is not considered through compatibility, but through the mechanism of organization of the “general fund of semantic formations” (GFSF) (Dzhakupov, 1992). Although, compatibility, in our opinion, is the result of the formation of a general fund of semantic formations, which manifests itself at all levels of interpersonal relations. It should be noted that, according to F.S. Tashimova, dealing with the problem of semantic formations [191], the process of coordination is based on the mechanism of correlation of conscious and unconscious components of psych [192, p. 150]. The new position in the study of factors of the marriage stability was the approval of V.A. Sysenko, that the stability of marriage depends on the degree of satisfaction of the basic needs of the spouses, the consistency in the distribution of labor in the family and the evaluation of life circumstances [117]. For the first time in our country, types of

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marital relationships were distinguished in the works of this scientist [176; 177]. A number of other recently conducted psychological studies reveal the difficulties of marital life [193], social-perceptual processes in married couples [194; 195; 196; 197], the distribution of marital roles in urban families [198; 171; 5; 199; 26; 200; 201]. In general, as the review and analysis of special literature shows, the psychological study of the family is characterized by a variety of approaches, the diversity of the categories used, the excessive breadth of the scope of phenomena in marital relations. This once again confirms the lack of a universal, general theory of the family and, in particular, new theoretical approaches to studying the factors and mechanisms of marriage stabilization that can help in practice solve these pressing problems of our time. According to A.K. Dmitrenko, many questions related to the issue of the stability of marriage [202], undeservedly remain aside from scientific analysis. Taking into account this fact, we made an attempt to build a psychological model of the family, identify factors of stabilization of marriage and family relations and explain its mechanisms, which will allow to solve the problems of strengthening the family institution and improving the quality of marriage in a new way. The fact that the family is a small group gives us the full right to view the family as the aggregate subject of the joint life of the individuals included in it. However, the process of transforming a family from a formal (nominal) cumulative subject of joint life activity into a real (“present”), qualitatively new aggregate subject of joint life activity in each case is unique. At the same time, the family, unlike other small groups (educational, manufacturing, etc.), has its own unique, unrepeatable characteristics. The definition of a family as a small group has important methodological significance for two reasons: first, this definition points the psychological aspect of the family study, which is not identical, but also consistent with the sociological, treating the family as a “social institution”, an “objectified norm” [2, p. 10]. Secondly, it points the existence of a system of norms regulating marital relations

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both within the family and the relationship of the family with other social communities. Being a unity of the individual and social, the family as a small group reflects the dialectical contradiction between the individual nature of the married partners and social requirements, norms, standards associated with the historically established type of family and marital relations. The conjugation, adjustment of attitudes, value orientations of spouses in the sphere of personal and marital life are necessary and logical processes, expressed not in averaging or suppressing the personal experience of each of the spouses, but in fully revealing it, in qualitatively transforming the experience of “I” into the experience of “We”. Such a transformation shows the achievement of the ultimate goal and the creation of the basis for the development of matrimony-the creation of a family as the primary small group of universal significance in the development of the personality, his/her self-realization [202, p. 46]. In the process of role communication of spouses, i.e. communication about family functions and communication about the moral traits of each other’s personality, the personal qualities of the spouses, their beliefs, orientation, interests, personal senses are externalized, the sense-forming needs of the individual are realized. The way of conjugation, coordination, identification of these qualities, entering into the unity of the processes of interaction and mutual understanding, is experienced by the spouses as satisfaction with each other, with themselves. The relative autonomy of the family, combined with the intimate personal relationships of the spouses, can create (and everywhere generates) contradictory relationships, extremely ambivalent in content and emotional coloring, when group, social and individual norms of communication in the family are encountered, which is often cause of disagreements, conflicts, divorce. Summarizing what has been said about the social and psychological characteristics of the study of the family, it is possible to mention words of Yu.E. Aleshina and L.Ya. Gozman: “The social and psychological approach to the study of the family presupposes the clarification of the specific nature of the general laws of social psychology in the particular case of its manifestation in the

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conditions of the family. For this purpose, it is necessary to present the family as a special case of the traditional for social psychology – a small group, to reveal its specificity in comparison with small groups of another type and to determine how this specificity affects various social and psychological phenomena of the family” [203, p. 831-832]. Such distinctive features are the family’s normative predetermination, its closeness, heterogeneous gender and age composition, the duration and dynamism of family history, the polyfunctionality of the family for the individual, and the exceptional importance of family communication (emphasis added by us), the constant close contact and emotional coloring of the relationship in the family [203, p. 831-832]. In opinion of A.K. Dmitrenko, this specificity of the family does not allow, to apply the concept of the activity mediation of group processes, and the factors of the stabilization of emotional relations stemming from the concept of the activity approach (“adequate organization of interaction, the presence of certain personal qualities in partners and their involvement in joint activities” [126, p. 151]), to the study of marital communication, due to its irrelevance to marital relations [202, p. 48]. In his dissertation, the author studies the factors of family stability, and bases to the principles of the personal approach, offering a new personal and semantic concept based on the category “need”, acting as a “cell” integrating all other characteristics of the personality into the system, since it “in general acts as the initial incentive force of human activity in the process of jointly carried out objective activity ... and plays a determining role in all varieties of psychic phenomena ...” [204, p. 114]. Analysis of the dynamics of the individual’s needs (from the vital through the species to the sense-forming and from the moment of the emergence of needs to their satisfaction) allowed the author to identify the presence of the most important structural units that determine the stability of marriage. L.Ya. Gozman, also rejecting the activity approach to the consideration of family issues, he says that “compared with other real groups, the family has a number of significant features. First of all, the contemporary family, especially the urban one, is not bounded by joint

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activities as the joint activities of production or working collectives ... The absence of leading activity (italics made by us) makes it extremely difficult to apply the analysis of the family to the activity mediation of interpersonal relationships” [126, p. 211]. In contrast to these authors, we consider that it is possible and even necessary (to fill the gap in the theory of the family) the consideration of the family from the point of view of the activity approach, taking into account its specific features. To be more precise, we consider the family as a small group of joint entity and joint livelihoods, where the main activity of family members, and in particular of a married couple, is the joint life activity (JLA), during which the spouses meet their needs (the need for another, communication, recognition, motherhood and paternity, in sexual experiences, etc.), and this process is interdependent. The process of formation of joint life activity is carried out during the interconnection of goals, meanings and motives of individual activities of family members. In this context, “life activity” means the way and the content of the individual being of each family member as the person [205, p. 83]. The joint life of the family is a system of individual life activities of its members. However, the process of achieving a “genuine” (joint) life activity when both spouses highly appreciate their satisfaction with marriage and at the same time feel happy in it, in each particular family requires a certain amount of time. This is the individual difference between families that have formal similarities in the length of marriage. But there are some similarities. It is expressed in the fact that almost every family goes through approximately the same stages (or steps) in achieving “true” joint life activity, beginning with the formation of existential-practical content and joint in form goals. At subsequent stages, the joint existential and practical goals, through the processes of sense formation and motivation, are transformed into joint cognitive-spiritual goals, signifying a qualitative transformation of joint life activity [205, p. 88]. However, it should be noted that direct observation and fixation of “genuine” joint life activity, and an experimental study of the process of achieving it in a family, is a task of extreme complexity. Despite this, we made an attempt to explore

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the psychological features of the stabilization of marital relations in the process of living together. This approach helps to look at, explain and solve the eternal problems of the marriage-family institution in a new way. As the object of the study, we took a married couple, since it is the core, the main structural unit in the analysis of the family. In addition, marital, and even more partners (love) relationships (with unregistered marriage) are not rigidly determined by external factors. They are the essence of the manifestations of semantic formations of the personality. An analysis of the literature on family and marriage issues showed that, despite a huge amount of works, there is still no single and harmonious theory of the family explaining the features and patterns of the development and functioning of the marriage and family institution that reveals the main causes and mechanisms of the dissolution of marital relations and gives an idea of the factors of family stabilization. The principles of the theory of activity (A.N. Leontyev), the theory of communication (B.F. Lomov), the principle of the aggregate subject of activity (K.A. Abulkhanova-Slavskaya, A.L. Zhuravlev, A.V. Petrovskii), the social-psychological principle of analysis of the formation and development of joint activity (G.M. Andreeva, A.I. Dontsov), the theory of interpersonal relations (V.N. Myasishchev, N.N. Obozov), the concept of form the general fund of semantic formations in the process of joint activity (S.M. Dzhakupov). The process of strengthening and stabilizing the marriage-family relations is determined by the psychological and socio-psychological structure, factors and mechanisms of the family’s life as a unique, special system of its own, which has its own unique specificity and is viewed by us as the aggregate subject of joint life activity of individuals included in it. Among various ways to solve this problem, a special place, from our point of view, is taken by the definition of a set of measures to strengthen marriage and family relations, based on the actualization of the psychological and social-psychological structure and mechanisms

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of the stabilization (strengthening, consolidation) process, cognitive activity (Dzhakupov, 1992). The principal difference of this approach to the problem of strengthening and stabilizing the marriage and family institution, improving the quality of marriage is that the formation of motivational connections between spouses (as the core of marriage and family relations) contributes to the actualization of the relationships between the spouses themselves, the parents and their children (effect of dialogueness), and this translates the process of stabilization (strengthening, consolidation) to a higher level of motivational and semantic support for the life of the whole family. The point is that the formation of the family as a cumulative subject of joint life activity is mediated by the most complex system of relationships between spouses, based on their perceptions of certain vital values. The mutual acceptance of these values is due to the process of forming common ideas about them. The latest, being accumulated in the “general information fund” (Lomov, 1984) from their subjective and personal content, act as “a general fund of semantic formations” (Dzhakupov, 1992). The process of formation of a general fund of semantic entities in the course of interpersonal communication and its further appropriation by each member of the family marks the rallying of the family as a group entity on the basis of social-psychological mechanisms of mutual identification. In fact, the external side of communication in the family is interaction about family functions. In this interaction, the inner side manifests itself in the formation and development of interpersonal relations. Interaction between spouses is a kind of “behavioral frontage” (Volkova, 1979), “text ... having its own internal psychological plan” [206, p. 180], which expresses the interpersonal relations of the spouses, formed on the basis of the disclosure of “personal senses” [207, p. 61], in the form of the activity of partners in fulfilling family functions as “the real life relation of the subject to what his/her activities are directed at. Such disclosure occurs in the process of interpersonal perception by spouses of each other as personalities (in our understanding,

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as active subjects) having a certain relation to the subject of their activity “[208, p. 20-31]. Speaking about the problem of stabilization of marital relations, it is impossible not to consider the other side of this problem. When there was the determination of the reasons for the destabilization of marriage, the interviewed husbands and wives were unanimous, placing first of all a lack of mutual understanding and common interests [209]. The understanding of family stability as the stability of interpersonal relationships is based, first of all, on the personal and cultural qualities of the spouses, on the broad basis of compatibility of temperaments, characters, interests and ideals, habits, behavior, feelings, etc. The personal compatibility of spouses is the basis of the stability of marriage. As Yu. Ryurikov rightly emphasizes, “it is due to such a multilayered personal compatibility – emotional, spiritual, material, sexual – that the fate of marriage depends: the more fully it is, the better the different individualities are combined, the easier it will be for husband and wife with each other, the less compatibility, the worse life” [210, p. 37-46]. Marriage begins, with love, but cannot be based only on it. In order for a family based on love to be stable and happy, the moral readiness of the spouses, their responsibility to each other, that is, those special subjective conditions that can be guarantors of the stability of marriage, are necessary. The relationship in the family, its microclimate can be expressed through characteristics of the value orientations and social attitudes of the spouses. Considering the psychological factors of the stabilization of marital relations, we highlight the necessity to stop on the factors destabilizing marriage and family relations. It should be noted that there is not much scientific literature on the psychology of family conflicts and divorce. However, the authors of all researches agree that in contemporary family psychological divorce is not just the collapse of marriage, this is the total destabilization of life [24; 25; 211-220, etc.] Investigation of the causes of divorce allows us to consider the divorce as a change in the balance of forces that support and destroy marriage [5, p. 122-144]. Divorce in this approach is seen as the

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predominance of repulsive forces over the forces of attraction. This means that divorces are widespread enough not only when the forces of destruction are great, but also when the strengths of maintaining a marriage are weak. One of the obligatory conditions for a scientific approach to studying and understanding the contemporary destabilization of the family and marriage institution is the analysis of the motives for divorce as a justification for the decision that the needs for marriage cannot be satisfied in certain marriage. In the domestic (Soviet) science, a number of researchers (L.V. Chuiko, M.I. Oridoroga, N.G. Yurkevich, N.Y. Solovev, etc.) proposed several classifications of the motives for divorce. Special attention deserves the classification of L.V. Chuiko. The author divides the motives for divorce into three classes: A-motives, caused by factors and causes, mainly from social and economic sphere; B-motives, prompted by the action of psychological and physiological factors and causes; C-motives of biological nature [25, p. 38]. The study of the causes of divorce shows the dependence of the growth of divorce on the duration of the marriage. According to demographers, marriages with the duration of a joint life of one to five years are most often broken up. This can be explained by the lack of uniformity of the general fund of semantic formations in a married couple and in the family as a whole. Marriages with a longer period of joint life are dissolved under the influence of other factors: the events occurring in the process of married life; development and change in the identity of spouses and their interpersonal relationships. This fact we explain through the concept of marital infantilism, when with the development of personality and the change of interpersonal relations of spouses, a general fund of higher-order semantic formations cannot be formed by partners. Therefore, the primary pseudo-joint activity between partners does not go into the stage of joint activity. Accordingly, this interaction of spouses ends with the breakdown of relations. Divorce, being the sharpest form of solving family problems, it has a different psychological content, depending on the type of

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formation of the motivation for divorce. N.V. Poddubnyi allocates four types of divorce: 1) a genuine divorce: the spouses (or one spouse) consider the divorce as the only way out of the conflict situation. The decision is made as a result of a long deliberation. Setting on divorce is very strong; 2) “ chantage” divorce: one of the spouses, trying to change the behavior of another, and offers a divorce as a way of pressure on a partner. The second husband promises to correct his/her behavior, which for some time normalizes relations in the family. If this promise is not fulfilled, the situation with divorce is repeated. In this case, the forces that keep the family from destruction and the forces that destroy it are almost equal; 3) “pressure” divorce: one of the spouses, in order to provide pressure, proposes to divorce, without a sincere intention to disperse. The other spouse agrees, although he/she does not want to divorce. As a result, there arises a struggle of self-love, a game of divorce, each expecting that the other spouse will yield first and refuse divorce. A similar situation arises when the spouses are stubborn and have high self-esteem; 4) this type of divorce is not associated with pressure on the spouse and appears as an affective response to the behavior of a husband or wife. This is the reaction of protest in the situation of an unexpected encounter with the negative behavior of a partner. But since there is no real intention to divorce, for the initiator of divorce is enough to “talk out”, “splash out” their emotions in order to realize the rashness of their actions [15, p. 52]. In contemporary psychology, divorce is characterized as: – a process consisting of a number of stages (phases), each of which has a relatively independent significance for the divorced spouses, their children, for the adaptation of all members of the broken family to new conditions and lifestyle after divorce, to a different structure of roles, the nature and content of the divorced persons’ communication; – social and sychological (personal) phenomenon, which has a number of aspects. P. Bokhannan, the largest American researcher of

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divorce wrote: “Divorce is a complex of social phenomenon, as well as a complex personal experience” [15, p. 53]. Let’s consider the point of view on the periodization of the process of divorce of some foreign researchers. Steven Duck identifies 4 phases of the breakdown of emotional relations leading to the breakdown and destabilization of relations: 1) intra-psychic (internal). One or both spouses (usually more sensitive) have a feeling of inner dissatisfaction. Possible outcomes of this phase: to reconcile with this and superficially express pleasure or not to show any dissatisfaction; decide to tell your partner your displeasure; 2) inter-psychic (between spouses), or dyadic, – the partners discuss their relationship. At this phase, self-discovery increases, the spouses try to experiment. This can last for years. The result is also possible in two ways: the restructuring of relations and its stabilization; acceptance of decay (the experiment ended unsuccessfully); 3) social phase – other people (relatives, friends) are involved in the process of family breakdown. The fact of disintegration should become “common property”, should be “authorized” by others. The environment must stop perceiving the couple as a couple. The outcome of this phase: the cessation of social relations, the breakdown of the family; 4) phase of finishing (as if again intra-psychic). Both exspouses recycle the experience within themselves and remain with their experiences, memories. The result of this phase is possible in two versions: reconciliation with the situation, with him/herself, the extraction of positive moments, lessons, the acquisition of personal experience; the event is perceived as a failure attributed to him/herself. This entails disruptions, hysterics, neuroses [112, p. 477-478]. The concept of emotional relations collapse of J. A. Lee. According to her, there are 5 phases: awareness of dissatisfaction; expression the dissatisfaction; conversation; making decisions; transformation of relations. J. A. Lee argues that a married couple cannot simultaneously pass through all phases, the disintegration of relations can take place in any way and in any form, priority is not necessary. Process of decay

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can be aimed not at ending the relationship, but at their transformation. The author believes that it is possible to walk on such circle for a whole life. Therefore, divorce is the death to a relationship that causes a variety of feelings, but always painful feelings. R. Kochunas in the book “Fundamentals of psychological counseling” for describing the divorce used the Kubler-Ross model, in which five stages are distinguished: the stage of negation; embitterment; negotiations; depression; adaptation [212]. In addition to these concepts and opinions about the stages of the divorce process, there are many others. In this way, for example, a “temporary” and “substantial” classification of divorce is distinguished. The most interesting, in our opinion, is a “substantial” classification, where are presented different types of divorce, such as emotional; legal; parental; divorce from the point of view of society; psychological divorce. Each stage has an ambiguous impact on the members of the broken family. In this way, “emotional divorce” begins at the stage of worsening pre-divorce relations of spouses, when their mutual emotional gravitation is significantly weakened, and trust began to disappear. During this period, “everyone’s egoism is no longer supported by the love of the other” (P. Bokhannan). Gradual “development separately” begins, which is accompanied by an increase in the frequency of conflicts “about and without reasons”, mutual high claims, constant disorganization of the family life. This is the first stage of the destruction of marriage, the restructuring of roles and functions, rights and responsibilities, the acquisition by the spouses of the so-called individual autonomy. Marriage still exists, but “bursting” on all seams. “Economic divorce” begins with the separation of economic activities, the restructuring of household functions of spouses and ends with a legal division of property. “Legal divorce” is currently undergoing significant changes. More and more common is the legal form of “divorce without guilt”, which has a softening effect on the traditional concept of “divorce due to the fault of one of the spouses.” With the new legal form, the interpretation of the grounds for divorce changes. The most common

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basis is the voluntary separated living of spouses (separation). Such a reason excludes the need to formulate and justify the reasons for divorce. There is a mutual recognition that the marriage is actually terminated and the couple came to a decision to dissolve it. “Divorcing parents” carries with it the need for complex mutual agreements concerning children, their guardianship, and often causes complex conflicts caused by the feelings of guilt experienced by the spouses. “Divorce from the point of view of society” is characterized by a change in the social status of the person who is divorced in the “eyes” of surrounding – the individual is considered single, which predetermines the norms and rules of his behavior in society (sexual relations, the choice of a marriage partner for remarriage, etc.). “Psychological aspect of divorce”. “Each of the partners of the exmarriage must transform itself into an autonomous social individual,” writes Paul Bokhannan. And continues: “... in order to again become an individual, a kind of center in a new environment, it is necessary to develop some new aspects of character.” Such development takes time and effort. Sometimes these efforts are futile, and then there is a stressful state of loneliness. American psychologists distinguish two qualitatively various stages after the actual divorce: 1) adaptation to the fact of the collapse of the family; the period is connected with the trial process, the division of property and children, new relationships with relatives and friends; feelings for the former spouse (love, hatred, guilt, anger, hostility, affection) and former marriage (regret, disappointment, sadness); perception of oneself as a loser; the state and mood change from depression, feelings of guilt to euphoria, relief; 2) adaptation to a new lifestyle; search for a place of residence, work, friends; material difficulties; adaptation to the new role of a single mother (father) or need to visit children. As practice shows, in the spectrum of problems generated by such a phenomenon as divorce, there is a special psychological problem associated with the consequences of divorce for divorced spouses, parents and children.

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Consequences for divorced spouses. Divorce often has a severe traumatic effect on a person (on a spouse who was offered to divorce, for elderly and long-lived married people). The mental state of the divorced is characterized by a sense of loneliness, fear, insecurity. At the same time, divorce can contribute to the development of the individual, the emergence of a new meaning of life, the establishment of better relations with children, and the satisfaction of personal interests. Such a contradiction is explained by the fact that divorce has a potential for both spiritual growth and psychopathology development. The result depends on a number of factors: age, sex, financial status, mental health, a system of values and sets. Consequences for children. With the increase in the number of divorces, the number of children who are brought up in an incomplete family is growing. The impact of a divorce on the formation of a fully-fledged, mentally healthy personality of the child has complex and ambiguous character. The sharpest experiences and the attendant consequences of the divorce is in pre-school children. In middle and senior preschool children, the consequence of divorce is expressed anxiety, loss experience, depressive state, irritability, aggressiveness, and decreased self-esteem. For adolescents are characterized by increased emotionality, imbalance, painful sensitivity, characteristic of the transition period, but expressed in a hypertrophic degree, which makes the mentality of a teenager from an incomplete family particularly vulnerable. In addition, in adolescence, children not only experience a sharp divorce of their parents, but also deeply realize its essence. Only at the age of 13-18, children are able to compile an adequate idea of the causes of divorce and their relationship with their parents. Divorce and leaving of one parent (usually father) have an ambiguous effect on children of different gender. According to V.Ya. Titarenko, a complex of consequences arising from the breakdown of the family, creates a negative educational factor, characterized by a deterioration in the physical and mental state of the mother; changing the attitude of the child to the mother and mother to the child. The conclusion made by the author: divorce

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with previous and subsequent circumstances, is a whole complex of negative factors that can have a negative impact on the child’s mental and moral development, including pathological changes in the psyche and asocial behavior of minors [181, p. 208]. It can be seen that in the literature analyzed by us, there is no unambiguous understanding and interpretation of the concepts of “stability of marriage”, “stabilization of marriage and family relations” and factors of the success of marriage. The reasons for this disagreement, in our opinion, are the weak development of the theoretical concept of the contemporary family and the conditions for its stabilization, the lack of a clear structure and system of factors for the successful interaction of spouses, and the imperfection of research procedures. It should also be noted that the meaning of the sociological approach is to explain the stability of the family through outwardly objectified, discrete factors. The essence of the traditional psychological approach is explanation to a greater extent through internal factors, personalities (values, sets, needs, meanings), but it, also “slides” into a sociological approach. The difference between the proposed psychological approach and the traditional one is the consideration of the process-dynamic aspects of the family’s vital activity through the mechanism of reconciling family values, views, attitudes and the formation of a general fund of semantic formations (GFSF) as an index of the dynamics of semantic formations. That is, for us, values, in general, and family, in particular, are an indicator, representative of the semantic structures of the personality of each spouse, which are a dynamic characteristic. And stabilization as a process is achieved through the formation of a general fund of semantic formations and appropriation by each of the spouses. At the same time, the GFSF is formed in the process of joint activity of the spouses, acting as its necessary condition at the initial moment and the result of joint life activity (at the end), but of a qualitatively different level. The measure of the formation of the GFSF is the measure of the consistency of family values in a married couple. In this way, the main psychological factor in the stabilization of marital relations is the joint livelihood of the spouses (Figure 1).

Chapter 1. Psychology of Marital Relationships Stabilization

Figure 1 – Psychological factors and mechanisms of marital relation stabilization in the process of joint life

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EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS AND MECHANISMS OF STABILIZATION OF MARITAL RELATIONS IN THE PROCESS OF JOINT LIFE ACTIVITY

This chapter presents the results of an experimental study of the process of marital relation stabilization. During the research we obtained the data that reflects the subjective, emotional and semantic notions of the spouses about themselves and other people, their relationships. 2.1. Argumentation and psychological characteristics of the sample The theme of the research chosen by us served as a basis for studying as its subject: psychological factors and mechanisms of stabilization of marital relations in the process of joint life activity. As the object of study considered the couple as the aggregate subject of joint life activity. The purpose of the research is to study the features of the process of stabilization of marital relations in conditions of joint life activity. Based on this goal, we have identified the following experimental tasks: 1. To investigate specific mechanisms and conditions for the organization of a general fund for the semantic formation of a married couple. 2. To determine the dependence of mutual understanding in a married couple (dyad) on the level of consistency of representations, attitudes, values of spouses, and also on the nature of the process of communication in the family.

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3. To determine the impact of mutual understanding in a couple on the level of satisfaction with marriage and the nature of the relationship between spouses. 4. To identify the features of the process of stabilization of marital relations, depending on the level of organization of the general fund of semantic formations. Based on the analysis of the theoretical material on this issue, in the light of that objective and in accordance with the objectives of the experimental tasks we had launched the following general hypothesis: stabilization of marital relations is ensured by the agreements the process of harmonization of values, sets, perceptions of the spouses on the basis of the organization of the general fund of semantic formations and assign it to each of the partners, which in turn determines the success of a joint functions of the family. To solve the issues, the general hypothesis was specified in a series of particular hypotheses: 1. Coherence of representations, settings, family values of spouses are mechanisms and results of the organization of a general fund of semantic formations. 2. The level of consistency of representations, settings, family values of spouses determines the degree of appropriation of a formed general fund of semantic formations by each of the participants of joint life activity. 3. The level of organization of the general fund of semantic formations, as well as the degree of its appropriation by each partner, is reflected in the nature of the communication and interaction of the spouses, in assessing their satisfaction with marriage. 4. The presence of a general fund of semantic formations is a condition and result of joint life activity, which in turn is a leading factor in the stabilization of marital relations. Proceeding from the stated goals and objectives of the study and to refute the hypotheses put forward, we compiled a research program consisting of several stages. In this paper, the results of study’s two stages are presented, which were conducted in the period from 1992 to 2004 on the basis of city departments of the Registry Offices of Semipalatinsk, St. Petersburg, Almaty. The total sample size is 120

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couples (240 people) and 375 divorce cases for content analysis. The results of the third stage of the study will be presented in the next scientific work of the author. Both stages of the study were aimed at studying the factors and mechanisms of the process of stabilizing marital relations, which are the core of the entire “family” system, on the well-being and stability of which the success of the functioning of other subsystems of the “family” – “parents-children” system and “siblings”. The high level of divorces and the general situation of destabilization of the contemporary marriage and family institution in recent decades have served as the main reason that we considered it is necessary to begin our experimental work with the study of divorcing couples, since the disorganization of marital life is most often associated with disorganization of the joint life of the spouses aimed at satisfying as personal needs, as well as joint needs. We should especially note that the family, being a closed small group, is also a complex subject of research, requiring the establishment of a special relationship between the experimenter and the married couple, achieved during the conversation with each of the spouses. Before the study, firstly it was necessary to establish a trust relationship with both spouses, get their consent to the experiment, explain what the essence of the research is, what exactly is required of them, how the data obtained can be useful and help for them. Establishment of trust relationships makes it possible to get more frank answers from the spouses, and, consequently, more reliable research data. We believe that we managed to establish a trusting relationship with couples of different grade of well-being. At the same time, working with each of the categories of couples we are studying (divorcing, young spouses, couples with average length of living together) demanded a lot of time and psychological expenses from us. 1-st stage of research The purpose of the first stage of the study was to study the main motives for divorces and the mechanisms of the dissolution of marital relations, reflecting the features of the process of family destabilization. To achieve this goal, we conducted a content analysis of 375

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divorce cases and psychological examination of 20 divorcing couples who made up a control group (CG). Results of content analysis of 375 divorce cases. To analyze the main motives for divorce and determine the impact on them of age, length of service in marriage, education and nationality of divorcing spouses, a content analysis of 375 marriage-divorce cases was conducted. Of which 158 divorce cases were taken from the archives of the city department of the Registry Office in Semipalatinsk and 217 cases from the archive of the Registry Office Department in Vasileostrovskii District in St. Petersburg. Selecting these two samples – Semipalatinsk and St. Petersburg, we proceeded from the fact that the overall high divorce rate and the national composition of the population of these cities makes it possible to compare the obtained results. In this way, from 375 divorced couples (100%), 287 couples (76.5%) are mono-ethnic and 88 couples (23.5%) are poly-ethnic marriages. Ι Sample – Semipalatinsk (S) – is represented by 158 divorced married couples (100%), of which 121 (76.6%) are nationally homogenous unions and 37 couples (23.4%) are national mixed marriages represented by following nationalities: – Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Chuvashes, Bulgarians; – Kazakhs, Tatars, Chechens; – Germans, Lithuanians. It should be noted that the above nationality of the spouses we have combined into groups on cultural, religious and linguistic grounds (Slavic, Turkic and Germanic groups). The entire sample (S) was divided into two groups according to the experience of living together. The first group includes couples who have been married for up to 3 years, and in the 2-nd group – couples who had a family life record of more than 3 years and more, which is 110 couples (69.6%) and 48 couples (30.4%). And, 25 inter-ethnic couples had an experience in marriage up to 3 years, which amounted to 67.5% of the total number of mixed couples. The average age of men and women of the 1st group is, respectively, 26.9 and 25 years.

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The average age of men in the 2nd group is 30.4 years, women – 29.4 years. We conducted a comparative analysis of the motives for divorce in single-national and national-mixed couples. At the same time, these motives were combined according to their semantic content and divided into four blocks: 1-st block – motives of divorces of a psychological nature (incompatibility, dissimilarity of views, interests, mistrust, loss of feelings, betrayal, disappointment, jealousy, indifference and much more); 2-nd block – the motives of divorces related to children and parenthood: a) childlessness; b) childlessness because of illness of one or both of spouses; c) childlessness due to unwillingness of one or both spouses; d) unwillingness to bring up children from the partner’s first marriage. 3-rd block – the motives for divorce concerning the material side of family life and relations with relatives: lack of housing, low wages, etc.; interference of parents in family life. 4-th block – other motives: presence of another family / partner; desire to create another family; drunkenness of husband; illness of one of the spouses. In this way, it turned out that in the mono-ethnic couples of the Slavic culture (Russians, Ukrainians), the motives of the 1st bloc (32.23%), that is, most of the motives are psychological in nature. In the second place – childlessness due to the health of the spouse (10.33%); presence of another family / other partner – 7.44%; childlessness because of one spouse unwillingness is 8.6%. On the third place – husband’s drunkenness (6.6%); material disadvantage (3.5%). A similar pattern is observed in mono-ethnic couples of eastern culture (Kazakhs, Tatars). On the 1st place – psychological motives – 9.1%; on 2-nd – childlessness for health reasons of the spouse (8.25%); on the 3rd, childlessness due to the unwillingness of one spouse (3.4%); presence of another family / partner – 2.5%; husband’s drunkenness is 2.5%.

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In poly-ethnic couples, different in the combination of cultures (ethnic groups), whether Slavs with Slavs, whether Slavs with representatives of Eastern culture (ethnic groups), whether eastern or eastern, the first place is occupied by the psychological motives of divorce; on the second place – childlessness due to health problems and unwillingness of spouses; on the third place – the presence of another family / other partner; drunkenness of husband. It should be noted that such motives as the presence of another family / other partner and drunkenness of the husband, as a rule, are a consequence of the violation of the emotional and psychological aspects of the interpersonal interaction of the spouses. ΙΙ sample – St. Petersburg (SPb) – consists of 217 divorced couples (100%), of which 166 couples (76.5%) are mono-ethnic and 51 couples (23.5%) are poly-ethnic unions represented by the following nationalities: – Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Moldovans, Chuvash; – Georgians, Armenians, Jews, Greeks, Dargins, Kumyks, Avars, Azerbaijanis, Ossetians, Karachais, Abkhazians; – Kazakhs, Uighurs, Buryats; – Lithuanians, Poles, Germans. It should be mentioned that in this case we also adhered to the principle of grouping divorcing spouses for similarity in culture, religion (confession), language and territoriality. This sample of 217 couples was also divided into two groups according to the length of family life. In the 1st group with the experience up to 3 years included 131 couples (60.4%), including 36 couples – interethnic unions, accounting for 70.6% of the total number of nationally mixed couples. The second group included 86 couples (39.6%). The average age of men and women of the 1st group is 31.1 years and 28.6 years, respectively. The average age of men in the 2nd group is 39.7 years, women – 38.4 years. An analysis of the motives for divorce, taking into account the nationality of the spouses, showed that in the St. Petersburg sample, spouses from mono-ethnic unions listed psychological motives

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(81.9%) in the first place; on the second place – childlessness due to unwillingness of spouses (4.9%); husband’s drunkenness (3%); on the 3rd place – the desire to create another family (2.41%); presence of other partner / family – 2%; material difficulties – 2%. As for multi-ethnic unions, they also put on the first place motives of a psychological nature – 74.61%; on the 2nd place – material difficulties – 9.8%; on 3rd place – unwillingness to bring up children from the first marriage of the partner – 4%; childlessness on unwillingness and health of a wife – 3,92%. Analyzing all the data obtained with the help of content analysis, we can conclude: the motives of divorce indicated by spouses from monoand poly-ethnic marriages do not depend on the nationality of the spouses, nor on the length of family life, nor on the educational level, nor on the age of divorcees spouses. The emotional and psychological side of the relationship between the spouses is more crucial than ever. This circumstance once again confirms the fact that for the successful and good functioning of the marriage and family institution the psychological factor plays a decisive role, the consistency of the interests, perceptions, sets, values of the spouses and mutual satisfaction of the needs (the need for paternity and motherhood, the need for recognition of personal importance, need for another things, sexual need, etc.). It is the basis for the joint life of the whole family and ensures its stability. To study the mechanisms of the disintegration of marital relations and the peculiarities of the destabilization process, 20 divorcing couples who made up a control group (CG) were examined. Characteristics of the sample: 20 divorcing couples (40 people) with various experience in marriage, different in age, ethnicity and educational level. All couples – urban residents. Average experience of living together on a sample made up 3 year 8 months. The average age of respondents was: men – 27 years old, women 25.6 years old. These characteristics allow us to refer the married couples to the so-called “young family” stage, where the experience of joint life is from 0 to 4 years, according to the periodization of family life proposed by V.A. Sysenko [4, p. 33].

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In the group of 20 divorcing couples, 5 (25%) are national-mixed (poly-ethnic) unions and 15 (75%) nationally-homogeneous (monoethnic) marriages. The national composition of the sample of divorcing spouses is given in Table 1. Table 1 The national composition of the sample of divorcing spouses Nationality of the husband

Nationality of the wife

Mono-ethnic marriages Russian Russian Kazakh Kazakh Ukrainian Ukrainian Poly-ethnic marriages Russian Kazakh Russian Belarusian Kazakh Russian Chechen Russian Ukrainian Russian

Number of couples 15 8 6 1 5 1 1 1 1 1

Such a diversity of poly-ethnic couples constituting ¼ of a sample of 20 couples can be explained by the fact that the Republic of Kazakhstan is a multinational state and ethnicity-mixed marriages are a fairly common phenomenon. Divorcing spouses have a different educational level. The representatives of Russian nationality are dominated by women with secondary special and secondary education, men – with secondary, secondary special and higher education, equally. Representatives of Kazakh nationality, both women and men, are equally dominated by incomplete higher, higher and secondary special education. The educational level of the spouses of the Kazakh nationality of our sample is somewhat higher than that of the spouses of Russian nationality. In general, 55% of men in the sample have secondary and specialized secondary education, 45% – incomplete higher and higher education; women, respectively, 60% and 40%.

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The results of numerous studies of contemporary scientists in the field of family psychology and marriage (L.V. Chuiko, D.M. Chechot, V.A. Sysenko, A.G. Kharchev, M. Matskovskii, S.I. Golod, Z.A. Yankova, N.G. Yurkevich, N.N. Obozov, I.F. Dementyeva, A.N. Volkova, T.M. Trapeznikova, V.P. Levkovich, O.E. Zuskova and others) and the content-analysis data obtained by us from 375 divorce cases convincingly show that many conflicts and disagreements in marital relations are caused, in the main, by the mismatch of the spouses’ notions about the values of family life and on the issues of functional-role interaction. And these causes of divorce relate to the psychological and socio-psychological levels of interpersonal relationships (Obozov, 1979, Trapeznikova, 1988). Therefore, in the study of the causes and mechanisms of the dissolution of marital relations, we proceeded from the assumption that the main factor in stabilizing marriage and family relations is the consistency of the spouses’ views on the issues of family life. For the study of divorcing couples we used the following battery of 10 methods, which were conditionally divided into 3 groups, proceeding from the principles of the three-component structure of interpersonal interaction: the method “Role Expectations and Claims in Marriage” (REC) A.N. Volkova method, the method of “Personal Differential” (PD), method “Communication in the family” Yu.E. Aleshina, L.Ya. Gozman and E.M. Dubovskaya, projective method “Drawing of wedding rings” author’s modification of the projective test of relations “Circles” A.A. Kronic, E.A. Kronic, author’s version of the socio-psychological questionnaire of representations about marriage and family (SPQMF), the scale of satisfaction with marriage (SSM), the “Scale of love and sympathy” (SLS) method Yu.E. Aleshina and others, a questionnaire on the level of subjective control (LSC) E.F. Bazhina and others, a test questionnaire “Transactional communication analysis”, proposed by N.A. Litvintseva, method “The Character of interaction of spouses in conflict situations” Yu.E. Aleshina and others. The description of the methods is presented in paragraph 2.2. The results of the study of divorcing couples are given in a comparative aspect with the data of the experimental group.

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2-nd stage of the study After studying the causes and mechanisms of the disintegration of marital relations in a young family, we found it necessary to investigate the characteristics of marital interaction in really functioning families with different experiences of living together. This logic of the construction of the study gives us the opportunity to study in more detail the mechanisms and factors of marital relations stabilization, depending on the number of co-lived years. The experimental group included married couples with different experience in marriage, which we divided into 3 subgroups. The amount of experimental group – 100 couples (200 people). 1st subgroup (EM) consisted of 40 couples – married couples with an experience of joint life from 0 to 4 years (average length of experience JL – 2 years); 2nd subgroup (ES) also comprised 40 couples – married couples with experience from 5 to 19 years (average length of JL – 11 years 6 months); in the 3-rd subgroup (EE) there were 20 more couples – young married couples (the average length of experience JL – 2 years 6 months) with whom an experiment was conducted to achieve mutual understanding, without taking into account the ethnic factor, since the additional time costs for carrying out the experimental methodology did not allow involve more couples in the survey. The main condition, which was presented to the subjects of this subgroup, was a good command of the Russian language. The age of the interviewed spouses, the duration of dating before marriage and their marriage age are reflected in table 2. Level of education of the spouses. In 72.5% of men, EM subgroups have incomplete higher and higher education and 27.5% have secondary and specialized secondary (technical) education; women, respectively, 75% and 25%. 70% of the men of the ES subgroup have incomplete higher and higher education and 30% have secondary and specialized secondary (technical) education; women of this subgroup, respectively, 67.5% and 32.5%.

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Table 2 The average age of the interviewed spouses, the age of marriage and the length of acquaintance before marriage by subgroup (number of years)

Subgroups EM ES EE

Gender of responders male female 26 23 37 35 27 25

Duration of dating before marriage 1 year 8 months 1 year 6 months 2 years

Age of marriage male 24 25 24.5

female 21 24 22.5

50% of men of the EE subgroup have incomplete higher and higher education and 50% secondary and specialized secondary education, the women of this subgroup are 55% and 45% respectively. As for the national composition of the sample, 10 out of 25 young couples in the EM sub-group are national mixed (poly-ethnic) unions and 30 couples (75%) mono-ethnic marriages. This is clearly shown in Table 3. The national composition of the sample of EM Nationality of the husband

Nationality of the wife

Mono-ethnic marriages Kazakh Russian Tatar Poly-ethnic marriages Russian German Russian Ukrainian Kazakh Russian German Uygur Ukrainian Russian Pole Russian German Russian Jewish Russian Tatar Kazakh Kazakh Russian Tatar

Table 3

Number of couples 30 23 6 1 10 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1

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In a subgroup of ES 40 married couples, 10 couples (25%) are national-mixed (poly-ethnic) unions and 30 couples (75%) monoethnic marriages (Table 4). The national composition of the sample of ES Nationality of the husband

Nationality of the wife

Mono-ethnic marriages Kazakh Russian Korean

Kazakh Russian Korean

Poly-ethnic marriages Ukrainian Russian Bashkirs Ukrainian Russian Ukrainian Belarusian Russian Russian Kazakh Tatar Russian Tajik Uzbek Kazakh Uygur Armenian Russian Azerbaijani Russian

Table 4 Number of couples 30 23 6 1 10 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Methods of studying marital relations in EM and ES groups: REC, PD, SLS, LSC, “Communication in the family”, the scale of SM, “Circles”, “Transactional communication analysis”, SPQMF-1 questionnaire. To study the spousal interaction in the EE group, the same methods as for EM, ES and, in addition to them, the experimental method of A. Kronic “Mutual Understanding” and the method of “The nature of the interaction of spouses in conflict situations” were applied. 2.2. Marital relations investigation methods Proceeding from the goals and objectives of the study, the accumulation of the battery of methods was carried out taking into account the three-component structure of interpersonal interaction

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(A.A. Bodalev, Ya.L. Kolominskii, B.F. Lomov, N.N. Obozov). The three-component analysis structure is also used in the theory of the settings of D.N. Uznadze. The set of methods chosen by us consists mainly of standardized methods characterized by stability, constructive validity, internal homogeneity. Surely, we understand the whole conventionality of this division, but this selection of methods contributes to a more detailed analysis of the phenomenon being studied. It is necessary to emphasize once again the fact that working with both the family and, in general, with married couples, and even more so with divorcing spouses, requires from a researcher psychologist not only a good knowledge of scientific and theoretical bases, observance of tact and professional ethics, but and high training as a practical specialist, since all categories of subjects expected feedback and help in resolving some issues and problems and, as a rule, received them. The main distinguishing feature of our work, representing scientific value, is that all the data obtained as a result of the study, we considered from the point of view of the measure of consistency within the dyad (husband-wife). 1-st group of methods is aimed at studying the cognitive component of marital interaction. It includes the following methods: “Role expectations and claims in marriage” (REC), “Personal differential” (PD), the method “Communication in the family”, the projective method “Drawing of wedding rings”, Socio-Psychological Questionnaire of Marriage and Family Ideas (SPQMF-1), the experimental method “Mutual Understanding”. 1) “Role Expectations and Claims in Marriage” (REC) This method was proposed by A.N. Volkova [116; 221]. The questionnaire is developed to study attitudes in the field of familymarital relations: views on the family structure, the distribution of roles between spouses; designed to study the functional aspects of matrimonial compatibility. The REC questionnaire allows to determine the opinion of the respondent about the importance of the family functions that make up his/her family values scale (FVS), as well as his/her opinion about

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the desired distribution of roles between spouses in the realization of these functions (the scale of role claims and role expectations). By the degree of consistency of the role representations of the spouses, it can be made conclusions about their role adequacy. It should be emphasized that this method allows us to talk not only about the cognitive component of the interaction of the spouses, but also gives an idea of the partners’ relations from the point of view of the three components (cognitive, emotional, behavioral). The “role expectations and claims in marriage” method represents two sets of 36 statements in each: male and female variants. Evaluation and analysis of the results is made on 7 scales of family values: 1. Intimate-sexual. This scale allows to judge what value the respondent gives to the sexual side of married life. 2. Personal identification with spouse Expectations of coincidences of opinions, interests, values, ways of spending time, etc. 3. Household. The importance for the respondent the economic sphere and the distribution of role positions is assessed. 4. Parent-educational. Reflects the attitude of the respondent to the parental, educational function of the marriage, as well as the distribution of roles for its implementation. 5. Social activity. Reflects the value of the external social activity (professional, public) for the family. 6. Emotional and psycho-therapeutic. Setting the emotionalpsychotherapeutic function of marriage, creating a favorable psychological atmosphere, moral and emotional support, emotional release, relaxation, etc. 7. External attractiveness. The value for the respondent of the external attractiveness of the spouse, its conformity to the generally accepted patterns of beauty. The purpose of our use of the REС methodology is to identify the consistency of family values, attitudes and the degree of role adequacy of spouses, which are indicators of the level of formation of the GFSF and the measure of its appropriation by each partner. The presence of the GFSF is a condition and result of joint life activity (JLA), which, in turn, is a leading factor in the stabilization of marital relations.

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At the same time, we used the REC method twice, i.e. used the technique of “reflexive imitation”. And for convenience in the processing, analysis and interpretation of the data we have introduced the following conventions: REC – “I” and REC “He”. In the case of filling the version of the REC “I”, the spouses followed the usual instructions. In the variant REC “He” we were given the following instruction: “Having lived in marriage for a while, you have more or less learned each other. We suggest that you present yourself as your spouse for a while (wife as husband, husband as wife) and try to answer the questions from his/her position”. In this way, the husband responds to the female version of the questionnaire (according to the principle “How do you think, how would your wife answer these questions?”), And the wife – on the male (according to the principle: “What do you think, how would your husband responded to these questions?”). In the future, the text will indicate the symbols of the method variants in order to avoid difficulties in interpreting the received data. 2) The method of “Personal Differential” (PD) [222; 223]. The method of the personal differential (PD) is developed on the basis of the contemporary Russian language and reflects the ideas about the structure of the personality that were formed in the Soviet culture. In the PD selected 21 personality traits. PD can be used in all cases when it is necessary to obtain information about the subjective aspects of the relationship of the subject to him/herself and to other people. As a method of obtaining mutual evaluations, PD is recommended for use in two areas: in group and family psychotherapy. The purpose of our use of this method is, firstly, to identify the spouses’ perceptions about the qualities of their personality and the personality of their partner, as well as about the qualities of the person of the “ideal” husband/wife; secondly, the definition of a measure of consistency between self-assessment and the assessment given by the partner, for three factors: Evaluation, Strength; Activity. It should be noted that this method allows you to conclude not only about the cognitive component of interpersonal relations of spouses, but also to judge the emotional side of relationships.

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The method of PD was presented to the couple three times: 1) for the estimation of self (PD – “I”) according to three factors /ESA/; 2) partner (PD – “He”), also for three factors; 3) the ideal husband and wife in general for three factors of ESA – (PD – “Ideal”). It is necessary to emphasize the convenience (conciseness, short time expenditure) and the universality of the PD method, which makes it possible to present it both for married couples and unmarried people, in order to compare their assessments and representations. 3) The method of “Communication in Family”. “Communication in Family” method was proposed by Yu.E. Aleshina, L.Ya. Gozman and E.M. Dubovskaya [224, p. 44-60], and is aimed at studying the process of communication between spouses. It should be noted that this technique also examines the emotional component of the relationship, which is difficult to separate from the cognitive one. The questionnaire contains 48 issues that are broken down according to the following scales: 1. Credibility of communication. 2. Mutual understanding between spouses. 3. Similarity of opinions. 4. Common family symbols. 5. Ease of communication between spouses. 6. Psychotherapeutic communication. In the 1-st and 2-nd scales the subject evaluates him/herself according to the given trait and the partner. The method is characterized by stability, constructive (logical) validity, homogeneity. The purpose of this method in our study is the diagnosis and analysis of various aspects of family interaction in the process of intrafamily communication, which in turn is the basis for the emergence and development of joint activity through the formation of a general information fund (GIF) and general fund of semantic formations GFSF). 4) Socio-psychological questionnaire of ideas about marriage and family (SPQMF-1). Socio-psychological questionnaire of ideas about marriage and family (SPQMF-1) is the author’s development of M.P. Kabakova [225; 226]. The questionnaire consists of 87 questions

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and is designed to study the views, opinions, interests and attitudes of spouses in married couples. The main task of compiling (constructing) the questionnaire was to study values, attitudes, ideas about the different aspects of joint life (marital and parental-child relationships); certain aspects of marriage and the relationship of partners in the past and present; determination of the existence and the measure of the relationship between the family life of spouses and that of their parents; the assumption about succession of styles and way of joint ability to live in a parent and “sub” family was checked. The analysis of the data on the questionnaire was made by calculating the arithmetic mean and the percentage. 5) Experimental method “Mutual Understanding”. This method was proposed by A.A. Kronic [153; 227]. In our work, we conducted an experiment with young married couples (EE) to see how quickly the spouses reach mutual understanding and what are the main mechanisms and ways to achieve mutual understanding. The speed and ease of achieving mutual understanding, the co-ordination of the actions of the spouses, the existence of a common language for a couple of “own” language evidenced about existence of a formed general information fund (GIF) and the general fund of semantic formations (GFSF) of the couple. This experimental technique allows you to make a conclusion on all three components (sides) of interpersonal relations of partners. Progress of the experiment: respondents (spouses) sat opposite each other at the table. On the table in front of each lay the same set of 9 schemes of relations so that the partners did not see each other’s drawings. At the beginning of the experiment, the couple were given the following instruction: “You are invited to participate in an experiment, the purpose of which is to learn to understand each other as quickly as possible. Before each of you – 9 drawings. Exactly the same drawings – your partner has. The experiment will consist of the following: I will point out one of the drawings to one of you, and you will have to call this drawing any word that is most suitable, in your opinion (preferably one). The figure number or its location cannot be called. When you pick up the name, the second of you will have to

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guess which picture it corresponds to, and point me to this drawing. I will indicate whether the title is correctly identified or not. Then another drawing will be shown, as before, one of you will have to choose the most suitable name to it, and the partner will identify which picture corresponds to it. Similarly, you will need to do the rest of the drawings. At the end of the series of nine drawings, I’ll let you know how many times the drawings were correctly identified. Then you change your roles. The game ends when 4 times in a row (two each) you can correctly decipher the names and guess all nine figures, i.e. when you learn to understand each other perfectly”. After that, the experimenter pointed to a picture to one of the partners, the respondent named it, and the second partner guessed. The data were recorded by the experimenter in the following way: the picture number was first put on the form, then the name given by the respondent was recorded, and then the picture number, which was indicated by the other partner, was put. The experimenter said whether the picture is correct or incorrect. In this way, the experimenter pointed to all nine pictures first to one of the partners, then they changed roles. The experiment continued until the subjects reached a complete mutual understanding, that is, until the correct identifying all the pictures. 2-nd group of methods is aimed at researching the emotional component of interpersonal interaction between spouses. This group of methods includes: “Scale of Love and Sympathy” / SLS /, “Communication in Family” (see above), as well as the Marriage Satisfaction Rating (MSR) we proposed. It should be noted that in order not to overload the subjects with a large number of methods, we used the marriage satisfaction rating (MSR), because it is sufficiently informative and the data on it are consistent with the results obtained by the marriage satisfaction questionnaire (MSQ) developed by the authors’ group – V.V. Stolin, T.L. Romanova, G.P. Butenko [228], in control group (CG). 1) The “Scale of Love and Sympathy” (SLS) method was constructed on the basis of Z. Rubin’s scales by a group of authors – Yu.E. Aleshina, L.Ya. Gozman, E.M. Dubovskaya [224, p. 13-21]. The peculiarity of this technique is the possibility of its application in

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the study of relations in any dyadic couples: premarital and conjugal. The advantages of this test – are the ease of processing and ease of filling – served as the main criterion for including it into a lot of methods. 2) Marriage Satisfaction Rating (MSR). This scale is included into the Socio-Psychological Questionnaire of Marriage and Family Ideas (SPQMF-1), developed by M.P. Kabakova. Marriage Satisfaction Rating (MSR) Scale is a variant of the projective method: a straight horizontal line in the form of a scale on which the numbers denoting points are indicated: from 0 to 10. Spouses were asked to assess their satisfaction with marriage on a ten-point scale, where 0 is the minimum satisfaction with marriage, and 10 is – the maximum. With this rating from 0 to 3 indicates a low satisfaction with marriage, from 4 to 7 – about the average satisfaction with marriage, estimates from 8 to 10 points indicate a high satisfaction in marriage. The estimation was carried out in such a way that each of the spouses did not know how assessed his/ her partner satisfaction with the marriage. The data obtained make it possible to judge the satisfaction of each spouse with marriage (an individual indicator), to talk about satisfaction with marriage as a whole (the overall indicator for a couple) and the degree of consistency of estimates. 3) Projective method of Drawing of wedding rings [225; 226]. The method of “Drawing of wedding bands” is the author’s modification of M.P. Kabakova of Circles projective test of A.A. Kronic, E.A. Kronic [153]. Note that this method, like the REC, allows us to judge not only the cognitive, but also the emotional side of the relationship between spouses. Respondent was given step by step the following instruction: “Using two wedding rings, draw, please, first your real, then desired relationship with a partner. And last, draw, please, how you represent the ideal relationship between husband and wife in general. In the 1-st and 2-nd drawings, designate your ring, and in the 3-rd figure, indicate the husband’s ring and the wife’s ring”.

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Criteria for analyzing pictures of rings: – size of the ring (large, medium, small); – rings thickness; – distance between rings, remoteness of rings from each other, intersection (large and small distance, small, medium, large intersection); “overlapping one ring for another” or “one in the other”, etc.; – position of own ring in relation to the partner’s ring (first, second, top, bottom); – form of the ring (circle, oval); – clarity of the contour (a clear or fuzzy outline, that is, a good drawing or a weak one); – closeness of the ring contour (presence or absence of a gap); – additional details (strokes, symbols, labels, patches, “rays”, etc.); – verbal manifestations (neutral, exclamation, manifestations of fear, embarrassment, misunderstanding, refusal, willingness, interest, pleasure, etc.) In the interpretation of the drawings, all the details have matter. In this way, the size of the ring indicates the level of self-esteem and self-reliance of the respondent, as well as his/her evaluation and attitude to the partner as an individual. The larger the ring, the greater the role and significance in the relationship is attributed to its owner. The size of the ring can also give some idea of the mental health of the respondent. The thickness of the ring can also express the self-esteem of the respondent and his/her evaluation of the partner as an individual, and also characterize the respondent and his/her relationship to him/herself and to the other as reliable, meaningful, stable (in the variant – real relationship), or as a desire to see or make them so in future (in the variant – the desired relationship). Remoteness or distance between rings allows to judge the degree of acceptance, the admission of another in their personal space, or the degree of preservation of autonomy in interpersonal relations; the possibility of psychological rapprochement, acceptance and even some identification. It should be noted that men, as compared to women, tend to prefer greater autonomy and independence in interpersonal relationships, which is considered to be the norm for them and gives a sense of their own identity, self, uniqueness

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(integrity) [153, 229]. This suggests that the personality space is mediated both by the personality traits of the partners and by their gender differences [230; 231; 232; 233; 234]. Therefore, the characteristics of the personal space are reflected in the psychological distance, which, in the opinion of the evaluator, he/she adheres to or wanted to have in interpersonal relations with the partner. The psychological distance is shown in the figure by remoteness and distance between the rings. The position of own ring in relation to the partner’s ring (first, second, top, bottom) indicates the position of domination-subordination, leadership and domination in interpersonal relations, and also reflects the status of the respondent. Form of the ring (circle, oval) may reflect the degree of awareness of the importance and significance of real marriage and family, or the degree of readiness for marriage and family life (for unmarried persons). Also the form of the ring in conjunction with the data of other techniques (for example, LD) can characterize a person in the plane of creativity. Clarity of the ring contour (absence of twisting, indistinct and uneven lines) gives an idea of certain characteristics of the person: confidence, responsibility, inner self-consistency, anxiety, impulsiveness, willpower, accuracy. The sharpness of the contour is determined by pressing, differing in magnitude / strong, medium, weak / and in character / regular, with oscillations/. Closure of the ring expresses the degree of confidence in the success and stability of interpersonal relationships, and the presence of a gap (small or explicit) indicates a lack of self-confidence as the bearer of a certain role, either in one’s partner or in this relationship. Also the presence of a clear gap can talk about the possibility of allowing close, deeply intimate relationships with another person, and sometimes, on the assumption of the idea of divorce. In this way, the gap in the ring can be interpreted as some impermanence of the subject himself and the possibility of a new choice and even withdrawal (the gap is a “reserve exit”). The nature of the discontinuity can be estimated from the scope – the general deviation of the line when points are connected on a circle. The magnitude can be large, medium, small, which indicates such characteristics as: impulsiveness – self-possession; variability – constancy; neglect – respect for interpersonal relationships.

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Additional details: strokes, symbols, inscriptions, glare, “rays” and others, give an idea of the personal maturity of the subject or his infantilism (the presence of “rays”, glare, symbols, inscriptions of his name or the name of the partner); personal anxiety; uncertainty (the presence of strokes, strikethrough, contours); about the importance of one’s own person (an inscription of one’s own name or initials, symbols – “crowns”, “stone”, “pigeon” on the “own” ring); about the romantic relationship (usually during courtship and the “young family”) and the positive attitude towards the partner, the recognition of its importance and significance, is evidenced by a certain symbolism, glare, “rays” on the ring of the partner. At the time of receiving the instruction and during the drawing process, the subjects usually display a verbal reaction of a different nature: from fears and refusals to readiness to fulfill the task and pleasure from the drawing, which gives additional information about the person: the presence of situational anxiety, uncertainty; fear of a non-standard task, creativity, emotional state. When presenting this technique, like any other projective method, it is important to record all the reactions of the subject (verbal and non-verbal) and the features of the drawing process. The method which had been modified by M.P. Kabakova is convenient to use, time-saving, interesting to the subjects, sufficiently informative, does not cause difficulties (difficulties) in analysis and interpretation. The procedure passed the verification procedure for validity in 1995 on a large sample of subjects. The purpose of using this projective (pictorial) technique is to obtain data on the features of real interpersonal relations between spouses, as well as on the desired relationships with own partner. To process the data obtained using this technique, the frequency analysis was expressed as a percentage. 3-rd group of methods is aimed at investigating the behavioral component of interpersonal interaction. It included a questionnaire of the subjective control level (SCL), the methodology “Character of interaction of spouses in conflict situations”, the questionnaire

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

“Transactional communication analysis” and the experimental method “Mutual understanding” of A.A. Kronic (see above). 1) The questionnaire subjective control level (SCL) is developed on the basis of the scale of the locus of control of J. Rotter and in accordance with the hierarchical model of regulation of social behavior V.A. Yadov. In the development of the questionnaire, E.F. Bazhin, E.A. Golynkina, A.M. Etkind [235; 236]. This technique makes it possible to talk about the relationship between the emotional and behavioral components of the structure of interpersonal interaction. Questionnaire (SCL) consists of 7 scales contains 44 approvals, measures the locus of control of the individual in the various spheres of life. – The scale of general internality – I (g). – The scale of internality in the field of achievements – I(a). – The scale of internality in the field of failures – I(f). – The scale of internality in the field of family relations – I(fr). – The scale of internality in the field of industrial relations – I(ir). – The scale of internality in the field of interpersonal relations – I (intr). – The scale of internality in the field of disease and health – I (hd). This technique was used by us to identify the spouses as a general type of control, as well as the ratio of indicators on individual scales among themselves. 2) Method of “Nature of the interaction of spouses in conflict situations”. The method proposed by Yu.E. Aleshina, L.Ya. Gozman and E.M. Dubovskaya [224, p. 61-76]. The methodology is aimed at exploring the various aspects of marital relations, the most conflict areas, the degree of agreement / disagreement in conflict situations, the level of conflict in the couple. This psychodiagnostic tool makes it possible to talk about the relationship between the emotional and behavioral components of the interpersonal interaction structure. It should be remembered that this method was intentionally proposed only to the divorcing spouses (CG) and the young spouses of the subgroup (EE) in order to compare the level of conflict among

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the divorcees ending their existence and the young couples who are in the stage of development and formation. The method includes two options: male and female. Each option represents 32 situations of family interaction, which are of a conflict nature. As an answer, respondents are offered a scale of possible reactions to a certain situation, in which two signs are laid down: the activity or passivity of the reaction and the consent or disagreement with the spouse (that is, the positivity or negativity of the reaction). The left pole of the scale is an active expression of disagreement, then the passive expression of disagreement, neutral behavior, the passive expression of agreement and the right pole of the scale is an active expression of agreement. The scale is as follows: Express strong Disagreement, that wife /husband and say do or say in a situation, actively contradict her/him and insist on own opinion

Not agree that and wife/husband do and say say in the situation, I demonstrate own discontent, but avoid open discussion

Do nothing, do not express my relation, wait for further development of other events

Generally agree, that wife /husband do and say say in the situation, but do think, that I need openly express my opinion

Fully agree that wife/husband do and say in the situation, actively support his/her and express appreciation

The analysis of the results is carried out on 8 main blocks, which most often cause the interpersonal conflicts of the spouses: 1. Relationship with family, friends. 2. The upbringing of children. 3. Manifestation of autonomy by one of the spouses. 4. Violation of role expectations. 5. Mismatch of standards of conduct. 6. Manifestation of dominance by one of the spouses. 7. Manifestation of jealousy. 8. Differences in relation to money.

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

The results of the method are obtained by calculating the general index (the average of the arithmetic answers for all situations), as well as the partial indices for the blocks (the arithmetic mean for each block). The index value is changed from “2” to “ -2”. The data obtained make it possible to talk about the general level of conflict in the couple. The closer the values of the general index to “-2”, the more conflictual is the interaction of the spouses. 3) Test Questionnaire Transactional Analysis of Communication. Test Questionnaire Transactional Analysis of Communication developed in accordance with the principles of the theory of transactional analysis of E. Bern and presented by N.A. Litvinceva in the collection [237]. This method makes it possible to talk about the relationship between the emotional and behavioral components of the structure of interpersonal interaction. It consists of 21 statements reflecting one of the three possible states of our I at the time of communication with the other person. The meaning of each ego-state (Parent, Adult, Child) is deduced by counting the sum of scores for 7 statements. The purpose of this method is to study the behavior of spouses in interpersonal relationships in terms of its constructiveness, flexibility, and the coherence of such behavior in family life, reflecting, in turn, the level of maturity of the individual. Coherence of models of communication and interaction of spouses also gives an idea of the formation of a general fund of semantic entities. The predominance (dominance) of one of the ego states in the first position allows us to correlate it with one of the components of the structure of interpersonal relations, and therefore, to speak about one or another level of the general fund of semantic formations (GFSF). The analysis of the obtained data for all the methods was carried out by calculating the arithmetic average, the percentage ratio, the Pearson linear correlation coefficient, and the Spearman rank correlation coefficient rˢ [238]. Summarizing the above, it should be noted that this section is devoted to the justification and description of the sample. The chosen methods and methodologies for studying marital relations are described in detail, methods of processing the data obtained.

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 113

2.3. Consistency of family values of spouses as a mechanism and result of the organization of the general fund of semantic formations (GFSF) To test particular hypotheses Nos. 1, 2: 1. Coherence of representations, settings, family values of spouses is a mechanism and result of the formation of a general fund of semantic formations. 2. The level of consistency of representations, attitudes, family values of spouses determines the degree of appropriation of a general fund of semantic entities by each of the general fund of semantic formations. We used such methods as: REC, SPQMF-1, PD, SCL, the experimental method “Mutual Understanding”. As a result of the study, the following data were obtained. Method of “Role expectations and claims in marriage” (cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components). Processing and analysis of data on the REC method enabled us to: – to consider how important this or that function of the family constituting the family values scale (FVS), both for the sample as a whole, and separately for men and women in different subgroups (CG, EM, ES, EE), i.e. to consider the representations of spouses about the hierarchy of family values; – determine how the spouses imagine the distribution of roles in a particular sphere of family life; – identify those family values where the spouses have disagreements. The results of the method of the REC (REC-“I”, REC – “He”) grouped in table 5-11 and clearly visible in the pictures. For convenience, when reading the tables, the family values scale is conventionally denoted by the following: Family values – IS Family values – PIS Family values – H Family values – PE Family values – SA Family values – EP Family values – EA

– Intimate-sexual – Personal identification with spouse – Household – Parent-educational – Social activity – Emotional-psychotherapeutic – External attractiveness

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To obtain information about the hierarchy of family values for the spouses of each of the subgroups, as well as for men and women within each subgroup, we analyzed the mean values of the family values scales within each of the subgroups (horizontally) (Table 5). In this way, it can be concluded that for men and women of the EM subgroup there is a certain coherence of ideas about family values. Young spouses consider mutual attentive, caring and warm relations to be the most significant in their family life; the desire to realize their professional interests (and this is more expressed in young women); commonality of interests, needs, perceptions, life goals of husband and wife, and, in the opinion of young spouses (EM), it is important to have an attractive and fashionable appearance – own and partner’s (which is more pronounced in women). Scale of family values of spouses with different experience in marriage (REC “I”) Subgroup

EM

Family values

Family Family Family Family Family Family Family values values values values values values – values – IS – PIS –H – PE – SA EP – EA

Family values scale (FVSm)

5.6

7.2

6.1

7.1

7.2

7.3

6.9

Family values scale (FVSf)

5.2

7.0

6.2

6.7

7.3

7.3

7.1

CFV

0.4

0.2

0.1

0.4

0.1

0.0

0.3

7.1 (2)

6.2 (5)

6.9 (4)

7.3 (1)

7.3 (1)

7.0 (3)

7.3

6.4

7.4

6.9

7.5

6.5

Average acc. 5.4 (6) sampling ES

Table 5

Family values scale (FVSm)

6.1

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 115 Table continuation Family values scale (FVSf)

6.4

7.6

7.0

7.4

7.6

7.6

7.0

CFV

0.4

0.3

0.6

0.1

0.7

0.1

0.5

7.5 (2)

6.7 (6)

7.4 (3)

7.3 (4)

7.6 (1)

6.8 (5)

Average acc. 6.3 (7) sampling

EE

CG

FVSm

4.9

6.6

6.3

7.5

6.5

7.0

5.9

FVSf

4.4

7.0

6.4

6.8

7.2

7.3

7.0

CFV

0.5

0.4

0.1

0.7

0.7

0.3

1.1

6.9 (2)

6.4 (4)

7.2 (1)

6.9 (2)

7.2 (1)

6.5 (3)

Average acc. 4.7 (5) sampling FVSm

4.8

7.5

5.8

6.4

6.0

6.9

5.5

FVSf

5.2

6.5

6.0

7.0

6.4

7.4

5.8

CFV

0.4

1.0

0.2

0.6

0.4

0.5

0.3

7.0 (2)

5.8 (5)

6.7 (3)

6.2 (4)

7.2 (1)

5.7 (6)

Average acc. 5.0 (7) sampling

Also, the mutual underestimation of the significance of the economic and household function of family life (with a mutual high appreciation of the importance of emotional-psychotherapeutic, social activity and personal identification with a partner) in young spouses (EM) indicates their unwillingness to solve household problems of the family and is explained by the fact that for them now it is more important to focus on the realization of oneself as a person and professional, rather than a family man, and therefore they consider the arrangement of life for them not so important in comparison with the “construction” of the spiritual unity with a partner. The relatively low evaluation by men and women of the importance of the intimatesexual function of family life suggests that the sphere of intimatesexual relations, from the perspective of young couples (EM), in particular of women in this subgroup, is less significant in family life. This is quite typical for young spouses, since the understanding by

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

spouses of the value of intimate relationships, as a rule, is formed in the process of common life as psychological and sexual compatibility of husband and wife is achieved. This statement is supported by the following papers [35; 36; 239]. It should be noted that at the present time there has been a change in values, the decisive role in marriage was played by psychological factors, which is what our data indicate. The greater importance for women of social activity than the educational function is due to the fact that the attitude towards a woman has changed in a society, her role positions have changed, the woman is no longer completely dependent on her husband, she strives to be more independent and achieve her place in life. In this way, we found that for young couples, the values of a psychological nature come to the fore. This gives grounds to assume that young spouses are guided by the so-called “conjugal” type of family organization, which is based on the value-orientation unity of marriage partners. 2. The hierarchy of family values of spouses of the ES subgroup as a whole looks as follows: the emotional and psychotherapeutic function (7.6) is on the 1st place, on the 2-nd place the personal identification with the partner (7,5), 3-rd place – parental-educational (7.4), on the 4th – social activity (7.3), on the 5th – external attractiveness (6.8), on the 6th – household (6.7) and on last place – intimate-sexual (6,3). At the same time, the numerical values for family values scale (FVS) – intimate-sexual, personal identification, household, parentaleducational, emotional and psychotherapeutic of the ES subgroup are higher than in the remaining three subgroups. This is probably due to the fact that after living a fairly long time in marriage, the spouses began to appreciate all aspects of joint life. The numerical value of the family values scale (FVS) – Social activity in the ES subgroup is equal to the value of the family values scale (FVS) – Social activity of the EM subgroup, but higher than the EE and CG subgroups, i.e. for ES spouses (in particular, for women to a greater extent), just as for EM spouses, their professional self-realization is significant, but with a high orientation on the family. The numerical value of the family values scale (FVS) – external attractiveness in the ES subgroup is

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 117

slightly lower than that of the EM subgroup, but significantly higher than that in the EE and CG subgroups. This indicates that for married couples with an average experience in marriage (ES), the importance of the external appeal of own and the partner is important, but to a lesser extent than for the young spouses of the EM subgroup, and more so than for the spouses (CG) as well as spouses of the EE subgroup, who have a record of a joint life approaching the “critical” mark (crisis of 3 years). The analysis of the family values scales for men and women of the ES subgroup showed the existence of differences in assessments of the significance of a scale, while the estimates given by women are significantly higher than the estimates of men. From the results of the comparison, it can be seen that for men and women of the ES subgroup there is a certain consistency of representations in assessing the significance of such family values as emotional-psychotherapeutic, parental-educational, personal identification with a partner. That is, according to the mutual opinion of the spouses, in the family life the most important are attentive, caring and warm relations; parental responsibilities; community of interests, needs, perceptions, life goals of husband and wife. The same divergence in views on significant to a particular function is observed in the family values scale (FVS) − personal identification, household, social activity, external attractiveness. The greatest disagreement was noted in the family values scale (FVS) – Social activity, where differences in the spouses’ attitudes to the realization of professional interests are evident, particularly among women, the desire to realize their professional interests is much higher than that of men. Obviously, this is due to the fact that a contemporary woman does not want to limit herself to only household duties and prefers to be independent and in demand outside the family (home). A high evaluation of the importance of the family values scale (FVS) – Household for women (ES), unlike men, speaks about the importance for them of a well – equipped life and readiness to solve household problems of the family. It is also important for women (ES) to be attractive and fashionable, as this is important for the realization of their professional interests and career achievement. As to the importance of the sphere of intimate-sexual relations for

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spouses who have lived together for a sufficient number of years, its importance is estimated by partners (particularly women) rather high, compared with the spouses of other subgroups. However, this function was brought to the last place by both men and women (ES) families. In all likelihood, this is due to the greater focus of the spouses on spiritual communication with each other. 3. In the EE subgroup, the hierarchy of family values of spouses as a whole has the following form (from the most significant to less): emotional-psychotherapeutic (7,2), parental-educational (7,2), social activity (6,9), personal identification with partner (6,9), external attractiveness (6,5) and intimate-sexual (4,7). At the same time, the numerical values of the estimates of the significance of the family values scales in this subgroup are slightly lower than those in the EM and ES subgroups. However, it is necessary to emphasize that for the spouses of the EE subgroup, who have experience of joint life activity somewhat larger than those of the spouses (EM), a high evaluation of the significance of the parental and educational function is characteristic. Consistency of the views of men and women (EE) is observed in assessing the significance for the joint life of emotionalpsychotherapeutic and economic-household functions of the family, i.e. for men, and especially women (EE), it is important not only moral and psychological assistance to a partner, but also real (physical) help in solving everyday life issues. On the other five scales, there is obviously a mismatch. Thus, the greatest discrepancy is seen by the family values scale (FVS) – External attractiveness, Parentaleducational and Social activity. In this way, for women in the EE subgroup, it is more important than for men to have an attractive appearance (their own and the marriage partner) and to correspond to the standards of beauty; as well as self-realization in the professional sphere is no less important for them. Another area where the discrepancy is observed – the parenteducative, which occupies the second place in the hierarchy of family values for the spouses of the EE subgroup. This is due to the fact that married couples with a marriage of 2.5 years (EE), especially men, want to see in their partners not only caring and attentive friends, but also

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 119

good and sensitive mothers for their children, since the first children, as a rule, born during this period of living together. Another area where the discrepancy is also significant is intimate-sexual. It should be noted that the numerical value for this scale in the EE subgroup is minimal, in comparison with other subgroups, while the significance of this function for men is slightly higher than for women (as in the EM subgroup). The discrepancy between the representations of men and women according to the family values scale (FVS) – Personal identification suggests that for EE subgroup of women, unlike men, the most significant in family life is the community of interests, needs, life goals with their spouse. 4. The analysis of the data of the CG subgroup showed that for the spouses of this subgroup as a whole the most important are such functions of the family as emotional-psychotherapeutic (7,2), personal identification with the partner (7,0) and parentaleducational (6,7). Comparison of the scales of family values of men and women of the CG subgroup shows that there are some differences in the estimates of the significance of a scale, leading to a mismatch. So, in particular, for men of the CG subgroup, the significance of family values can be represented as follows (from the most significant to the least): on 1st place – personal identification with a partner, on the 2-nd – emotionalpsychotherapeutic, on the 3rd – parental – educational, on the 4th – social activity, on the 5th – economic and household, on the 6th – external attractiveness and on the last place – intimate and sexual. In women, the emotional and psychotherapeutic function of the family is on the 1st place in importance, in the 2-nd place – the parentupbringing function, on the 3rd – personal identification with a partner, on the 4th – the function of social activity, on the 5th – the household, on the 6th – the scale of external attractiveness and in the last place, as well as for men, – intimate-sexual function. In this way, the discrepancy between the views of men and women of the CG subgroup is manifested in the fact that the men of the CG subgroup consider the community of interests, needs, life goals with the spouse to be the most significant in family life; also they are interested in a warm and trustful relationship with their partner; parental responsibilities. For women, first and foremost, a warm and trustful

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relationship with their partner is important; in the second – parental responsibilities; and thirdly – personal identification with the spouse. Coordination of the same views of men and women of the CG subgroup is observed according to the family values scale (FVS) – IS, Household, Social activity, External attractiveness. Diligent spouses both believe that in domestic life, no less important is the household function. However, the numerical values for this scale are significantly small (especially in men), compared with the estimates on the same scale in other subgroups. Rather, it is due to the fact that divorcing spouses in the pre-divorce situation decide the issues of organizing the way of life separately, and this is not entirely satisfactory for husbands who are accustomed to the traditional distribution of roles, in which the wife is more responsible for everyday life. The divorcing spouses are similar in assessing the importance of social activity and the realization of professional interests, as well as external attractiveness (in both cases – especially women), but the numerical values for these scales among divorced spouses are significantly lower than those of the spouses of other subgroups. Apparently, this is due to the fact that frustration and failure in the family life of divorcing spouses affected their professional sphere. (It’s not for nothing that they say that if everything is good in the family, then at work – everything is in order, that is, they are two interrelated spheres of human life). But nevertheless for women, unlike men, their professional selfrealization and conformity to standards of beauty is more important, in other words women seek to compensate failures in family life to achieve success in their professional careers. All of the above listed discrepancies in the assessments of the importance of family values of the spouses of the CG subgroup and, consequently, the divergence in relations have a natural consequence in that divorcing spouses quite low estimate the importance of intimate sexual sphere and intimate relations in family life. It also illustrates the fact that any unhappiness in the family and the mismatch of the opinions of husbands and wives in important spheres of family life inevitably leads to a decrease in the attractiveness of the spouse as a sexual partner. Summarizing all that has been said, it can be concluded that, despite the differences in the experience of joint life activity and the

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 121

level of well-being in the family, it is important for all spouses to value-orientational unity with their partners, which is the basis of the so-called “conjugal” type of family. Comparing the average values of the sample in different subgroups and revealing the degree of consistency of their representations on the family values scales (vertical analysis), given in Table 5, it is evident that in all four subgroups, the emotional and psychotherapeutic function of the family in ES – 7,6, EM – 7,3, EE and KР – on 7,2), in 2 place – function of personal identification with the spouse (in ES – 7,5, EM – 7,1, EE – 6.9 and CG – 7.0). This suggests that, firstly, for all spouses, regardless of the length of life together and the level of well-being and stability in the family, mutual moral and emotional support of each other, orientation toward marriage as an environment conducive to psychological detente and stabilization is significant; secondly, the spouses expect a community of interests, needs, value orientations, ideas about the ways of spending free time (leisure). Analysis of the EM and CG data showed that they are almost similar to the data in the EM and ES cross-section, i.e. for young spouses, unlike divorcing spouses, as well as for spouses (ES), a high assessment of the importance of external social activity and the external attractiveness of a partner is characteristic. Comparison of EM and CG data shows that they are similar to EM and EE data, i.e. for young spouses, unlike divorcing spouses, their self-realization as professionals, as well as representatives of male / female, is more important. Comparing the values of ES and EE, we got the following picture: young spouses (EE), unlike spouses who have a longer experience of joint life activity, considering their important social activities, external attractiveness, organization of everyday life, sexual harmony with a partner, first of all prefer partnership. Analysis of EE and CG data points to some similarity of data in the ES and EE section, i.e. young couples (EE), in contrast to divorcing spouses (CG), consider parenthood, social activity, external attractiveness and sexual harmony with the partner important functions.

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Hence, we can conclude that the discrepancy in the assessments of the significance of the following family values and functions, such as social activity, external attractiveness, parenthood and sexual relations, in the husband-wife dyad can become a prerequisite and cause of conflicts leading to divorce. To check the particular hypothesis that the consistency of the representations, attitudes, values of the spouses in the dyad is not only a mechanism, but also as a result of the formation of the FMSA, with the assimilation of which by each spouse, the success of joint life is ensured, and consequently , we have achieved the stabilization of marital relations, we considered a measure of the consistency of attitudes, representations of the spouses separately in each couple on seven scales, since an analysis of the representations of men and women about the significance of a family values according to the average data do not fully reflect the real picture of the consistency of the family values of the husband and wife in each specific couple. We remind that the consistency of family values is characterized by a difference in scores on the scales of family values of husband and wife. At the same time, the smaller the difference between the indicators, the higher the consistency of the spouses’ representations about the most important spheres of family life. A difference of up to 3 points will not cause a problematic relationship, and more than 3 points indicate a rather high degree of conflict in a married couple. The results of this analysis, taking into account the experience of joint life, are presented in Table 6 and are reflected in Figures 2, 3. Analyzing the data in Table 6 vertically, i.e. between the subgroups, we obtained the following: the frequency of harmonization of the representations and sets of the spouses (the average for all scales) is the most in ES (81.4%) and EM (80.9%). In EE it is 52.9%, 55% − CG. From this we can conclude that the successful in the interaction are the spouses who have the average experience of joint life activity (ES) and young spouses (EM), therefore, they have formed GFSF and appropriated by each of the spouses. However, the measure of appropriation by the GFSF by spouses in subgroups on different scales of family values is different, and is determined by a measure of coherence.

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Table 6 Consistency of family values in couples with diverse experience in marriage (REC – “I”)

ЕМ ЕS ЕE СG

32 80 34 85% 33 82% 33 82% 10 50% 14 70% 14 70% 9 45%

28 35 8 12

70% 87% 40% 60%

33 33 13 10

82% 82% 65% 50%

36 31 12 12

90% 77% 60% 55%

33 34 12 8

90% 85% 60% 40%

33 30 5 13

82% 75% 25% 65%

Average

Family values – EA

Family values – EP

Family values – SA

Family values – PE

Family values – H

Family values – PIS

Family values – IS

Family values

80.9% 81.4% 52.9% 55%

Figure 2 – The correlation between consistency and mismatch according to the family values in subgroups (REC – “I”)

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

In this way, the maximum degree of appropriation of the GFSF for the entire sample is observed in young spouses (EM) for Family values -Social activity (90%), since the greatest consistency is observed here. This indicates that the young spouses (husband and wife) are unanimous in their opinion about the importance of their professional growth for them and achieve a great mutual understanding in this sphere. The next largest measure of coherence is observed in spouses (ES) in Family values – Household (87%), which indicates a greater similarity and mutual understanding of spouses on everyday life. The lowest degree of appropriation of the GFSF is inherent in the spouses of subgroups (EE) and (CG), in particular, in Family values – External attractiveness (25%) among spouses (EE), which indicates the dissimilarity of the partners’ submissions about the importance of this issue and their less mutual understanding. It follows that the marriage (EM) and (ES) is more stable than the marriage of the spouses (EE) and (CG), due to the higher degree of assignment of partners to the GFSF. The formation of the GFSF and the degree of its appropriation by the spouses (EM) and (ES) can be explained by the fact that on the one hand, the spouses (ES) are generally characterized by the orientation towards the family and the other partner, on the other hand, in the process of the long joint life of the spouse rather well learned interests, needs tastes of each other. At the same time, despite the fact that the spouses (EM) are generally characterized by the direction of activity outside the family, they have a fairly high level of consistency of views in assessing the significant values of family life. This can be explained by the fact that in the very first years of life together the newlyweds listen and listen to the opinion of the other spouse, that is, in this period the maximum focus on each other and personal identification with their partner is important (i.e., similarities in views, interests, value orientations, ways of pastime). As for the low level of the overall EE spouses’ consistency index, compared to those in the EM and ES subgroups, and especially in the CG, this state of affairs may be due to the high level of conflicts in this subgroup, since they entered the so-called “crisis” period of 3 years of joint life, when the spouses “revise” the values of the first years of their joint life, and consequently, all relationships, the whole way of life.

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 125

Consequently, in such a period (and subsequent “crisis” periods), from spouses are required to “revise”, “expand”, “develop” their general fund of semantic formations (if it was formed) in time through an alignment mechanism. If the GFSF was not formed from the very beginning of the life together or was formed, but at a lower level, then the presence, depth and nature of conflicts will testify of it. The deeper, protracted, frequent is the conflict in a married couple, the more it will be talking about the lack of formation of the GFSF or its “crisis” (when it does not promote mutual understanding of the spouses, since their relationship has already changed, the GENERAL INFORMATION FUND (GIF) changes, development of GFSF). Hence, we can conclude that in each period of joint life, marital relations have a different nature, and therefore, they must comply with their GFSF. Otherwise, it can be expressed as follows: every subsequent stage of joint life activity, ideally, uses a general fund of information of a higher order, and consequently, the general fund of semantic formations must also develop. The presence of conflict – this is evidence not so much the degree of formation of the GFSF, as the degree of appropriation by each of the spouses. In this way, a low level of coherence in a married couple suggests that the formed GFSF requires its “revision”, “expansion”, “development”, and the spouses “do not keep up”, that is, their attitudes “stand” without development at the same level as at the beginning of a joint life, or the degree of appropriation of the formed GFSF in the couple is different. Slightly higher, in comparison with EE, the level of consistency of views among divorcing spouses is probably due to the fact that over the years of joint life activity (the average length of a joint life of the CG is 3 years 8 months), there has been some “unification” of the spouses, i.e. they have been formed by the GFSF, and the degree of appropriation by each of the spouses is somewhat higher than in EE, but generally low. Consequently, their crisis period ends in divorce, as the spouses (CG) were not able to form a higher level of the GFSF and assign it. This phenomenon we call “marital infantilism”. It arises from the discrepancy between the relationships of the spouses to their current views on how to build joint livelihoods, which becomes one of the main causes of disagreements and conflicts in the family, and

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

manifests itself in a weak degree of consistency of representations, family values, attitudes in a married couple. At the same time, a low level of consistency in the couple indicates either a low level of formation of the GFSF, or a different degree of appropriation of partners formed by the GFSF. This can be explained by ignorance of partners that inter-personal (marital) relations are dynamic, requiring their development in each new period of their life together, ignorance of the ways and methods of their development, or inability to use them or unwillingness to develop their relations. In this way, marital infantilism is a phenomenon manifested when the earlier formed by the spouses of the GFSF does not change in accordance with changing relations in time. Analyze the data in Table 6 horizontally, i.e. within each subgroup, showed those areas where the spouses have the greatest consistency and / or disagreement. In this way, in the EM subgroup, the greatest consistency is observed in Family values – Social activity (90%) – social activity; and such a large numerical value of consistency occurs only once not only on this scale, but also on all seven scales in EM and other subgroups. This once again confirms the conclusion about the importance for both young spouses of EM of professional self-realization and achievement of career growth, greater direction outside the family, with importance and personal identification with their partner (Family values – Personal identification – 85%). The lowest consistency in the EM sub-group was noted for Family values – Household (70%) – household sphere. In the ES subgroup, in contrast to EM, on the contrary, the greatest coherence in Family values – Household (87%), the lowest in Family values – External attractiveness (75%). This again confirms the conclusion that for the husband and wife with an average length of life in marriage, the issue of arranging household and housekeeping in family life is equally important. Slightly less consistency Family values -External attractiveness still does not mean about the unimportance for the ES spouses of care for their appearance and conformity to the standards of beauty, but only shows how equally the husband and wife consider this function to be significant for their family life. In general, the total numerical values on the Family values – External attractiveness

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 127

scale in the spouses of EM and ES are approximately the same and quite high, compared with those in the EE and CG subgroups, as noted earlier (see Table 5), and the number of couples in EM and ES that are consistent with the Family values – External attractiveness are also approximately equal (31 and 30, respectively). However, for EM and ES men this function is not so significant as for their wives. The greatest consistency in the EE subgroup is observed in Family values -Personal identification (70%), i.e. in 70% of couples, both spouses have similar sets and ideas about the importance for them of a community of interests, needs, value orientations with their partner. The largest (maximal) mismatch in the EE is for Family values – External attractiveness. This suggests that married couples with average experience in marriage have different views on the importance of external attractiveness (own and partner’s) for living together. With regard to the CG subgroup, the spouses have the maximum consistency according to the Family values – IS (70%), and the minimum for Family values – EP (40%). This suggests that in 70% couples husbands and wives have a similar assessment on the importance of intimate sexual relations for them (and, as noted earlier, not the highest); and only in 40% of couples both spouses are similar in opinion (or 60% – disagree on opinion) about the importance for them of emotional-psychotherapeutic function (moreover, the assessment is quite high – 7.2 points). Most likely, this is due to the state of spouses who decided to divorce, when their warm relationship lost their former value or when they are more important to one spouse than to another. Also, the peculiarity of divorcing spouses is that the number of disagreements in the assessment of personal identification is also significant (55%). This suggests that one of the spouses has a rather high expectation of the coincidence of opinions, interests, values, ideas about the ways of conducting family and extra-family leisure, and his/her partner values personal independence, freedom of interests and pastime more. As a result of such disagreements, a contradiction arises between the spouses, which can serve as the cause of marital conflicts, dissatisfaction with the partner and dissatisfaction with the marriage as a whole.

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

Summarizing what was said above, we can conclude that the total number of agreements (disagreements) in each particular couple may indicate the result of the formation of the GFSF, and the level of consistency of the representations of the husband and wife serves as an indicator of the degree of its conferral by each of the spouses. This, in turn, can act as an indicator of the well-being and stability of their marriage. It follows that married couples of EM and ES subgroups are more successful in communication and interaction than spouses in EE and CG.

Social activity

Emotionalpsychotherapeutic

External attractiveness

ЕS

ЕE

СG

Average number of couples with low RA

Parentaleducational

male

13

10

9

16

8

male (in%)

33%

25%

23%

40%

20%

Female Female (in%) male male (in%) Female Female (in%) male male (in%) Female Female (in%) male

7 18% 7 18% 7 18% 4 20% 3 15% 5

7 18% 11 28% 4 10% 5 25% 7 35 8

10 25% 5 13% 12 30% 7 35% 6 30% 6

13 33% 13 33% 7 18% 8 40% 8 40% 9

9 23% 8 20% 12 30% 10 50% 4 20% 6

male (in%)

25%

40%

30%

45%

30%

34%

Female Female (in%)

6 30%

7 35%

5 25%

8 40%

6 30%

32%

Family functions Number of couples with low role adequacy (RA)

ЕM

Table 7

Household

Role adequacy of spouses in couples with different experience in marriage (REC – “I”)

28.2% 23.4% 22.4% 21.2% 34% 28%

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 129

Next, we conducted an analysis of the role adequacy (RA) of the spouses in each specific couple, which made it possible to identify those spheres of family life, in which the mismatch of the role behavior of husbands and wives more often occurs. The spouses’ RA index also indicates the formation of the GFSF and the degree of its appropriation by each of the spouses. It will be recalled, that the adequacy of the role behavior of the husband and wife depends on the correspondence of role expectations to the role claims of the spouses. At the same time, we also calculated the number of couples with low role adequacy of the spouses in each subgroup. Data on the role adequacy of the spouses represented in Table 7. In this way, the analysis (vertically) showed that in general for all subgroups the degree of role adequacy of both husbands and wives in different spheres of family life is not the same. In this case, the average number of couples with low role adequacy of wives in all subgroups is significantly less than with low RA of husbands. This indicates that the role behavior of wives is more adequate, i.e. role behavior of women correspond to the role expectations of their husbands, which cannot be said about men. This gives grounds to draw some conclusion that at the heart of many discrepancies, disagreements and conflicts lies the discrepancy of the role behavior of husbands. In this way, there must be a correspondence not only at the behavioral level, but also at all three levels of marital (interpersonal) interaction: cognitive, emotional, behavioral. Thus, in the EM subgroup (horizontal analysis), the highest number of couples with a low RA of the husband is observed according to FV – EP (40%), FV – H (33%) and FV – PE (25%). This indicates the incompatibility of the role claims of husbands (Ch) to the role expectations of wives (Ew) in the emotional-psychotherapeutic, domestic and parental-educational spheres, i.e. husbands are not quite ready (or do not want at all) (Ch) to take on the role of “home psychotherapist, psychologist”, the owner of the house and solve household issues, perform parental (fatherly) duties. And this is not coherent with the set of their wives to have, firstly, an attentive and sensitive friend, the “psychologist”, “sympathetic ear”, who would lend a sympathetic ear to her if necessary and find help and support;

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

secondly, the owner of the house, who skillfully leads the economy; thirdly, a caring and loving father. But the number of couples in which there is consistency of the RA of husbands concerns the social and professional sphere and external attractiveness, i.e. the willingness of their husbands to keep an eye on their appearance and to be excellent, in demand by professionals, is consistent with the setting of their wives to have an attractive, fashionably dressed husband who earns a good living and has achieved career growth. As for the RA wife, in the EM subgroup, the discrepancy between the wife’s role behavior and her husband’s expectations is observed in such areas as FV – EP (33%), FV – SA (25%) and FV – EA (23%). This suggests that wives, like their husbands, do not want to take on the duties of a “home psychotherapist” and are responsible for the “psychological” climate in the family, but are waiting for activity in this area from their partners, which accordingly does not agree with the installation of husbands. Young women (EM) strive to be not only experts in their own business and engage in professional growth, but also dress with care. However, their husbands consider that the professional employment of wives is possible only to a small extent and / or without prejudice to their joint family life and they do not quite like the fact that their wives tend to be beautiful and conform to fashion standards. Rather, it can be explained by some jealousy and / or jealousy of men. In the ES subgroup the situation is as follows. The smallest RA of husbands in married couples with the average length of life in marriage, as well as in young couples (EM), is observed in the settings for parental responsibilities and the creation of a “psychotherapeutic” atmosphere in the family. This shows that for spouses who have lived together for a sufficient number of years, mostly for men, there is a tendency to shift responsibility for the “psychological” climate and raising children to their wives, which is inconsistent with the installation of women to have a close and attentive friend, as well as a loving and caring father of their children. Noteworthy is the fact that in these areas and the sphere of economic maintenance of family, the RA wives are the greatest, i.e. the role behavior of wives corresponds to the role expectations of their husbands. Women are more active in the role of not only a “home

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 131

psychologist”, a caring mother, but also a skilled housewife. However, the activity of women (ES), as well as women (EM), in the realization of their professional interests and the desire to comply with the requirements of contemporary fashion does not agree with the expectations of their husbands to see their wives more engaged in matters of home and family. And the number of couples where husbands are dissatisfied with the activity of their wives, in the ES subgroup is much more. Probably, this can be explained by the fact that middle-aged men, who have achieved certain results in their professional careers, are somewhat jealous of the professional growth of their attractive wives and / or traditionally believe that the destiny of women is family, home, children. (Like the famous German three “K” – children, kitchen, church). In the EE subgroup, the least role adequacy of husbands is manifested in the sphere of external attractiveness (50%), emotionalpsychotherapeutic (40%), social activity (35%) and parentaleducational (25%). This suggests that the willingness of husbands to pumper their appearance and meet the requirements of fashion, to provide moral and emotional support to their wives and at the same time to engage in not only their professional careers, but also the upbringing of children does not correspond to the role expectations of women to see a beautiful, sensitive and a money friend, a good father. In this way, according to most women, they do not have in the person of their husbands a “model” of handsome, understanding friend, successful and rich professional. However, on the contrary, the role behavior of husbands (EE) more consistent to role expectations of wives to see in husbands good owners and caring parents for their children. The lowest RA (EE) is observed according to Family values – Emotional-psychotherapeutic, Parental-educational, Social activity. This suggests that the expectations of husbands of active fulfillment by their spouses of parental responsibilities, the provision of moral and psychological support to husbands with a minor orientation to the professional sphere does not agree with the role aspirations of wives. As you can see, the picture is repeated, i.е. for women and this subgroup it is important to realize not only in family life, but also

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

in the professional sphere, and this, in turn, can cause disagreements between spouses and lead to conflicts. The highest role adequacy of wives (EE) is observed according to Family values – Household, External attractiveness. This suggests that the willingness of wives to actively solve domestic issues and pumper their appearance is consistent with the set of husbands to have a beautiful, fashionably dressed wife, performing the duties of the homemaker. The smallest RA of husbands of the CG subgroup is observed in all five spheres (from Family values – Household, Family values – External attractiveness), i.e. the role behavior of husbands in divorcing couples does not correspond to the expectations of wives to have in the person of a husband a sensitive and handsome friend, a good father for their children, a skillful host and a respected professional. A similar picture is observed in divorcing women, i.e. this shows that the roles of husbands and wives do not correspond to the role expectations of their spouses. This discrepancy and mismatch in the role expectations and claims of spouses in the main areas of joint family life speaks of a high level of conflict and a crisis in relations between spouses who decided to divorce. Summarizing the above, it should be noted that it is precisely the detailed analysis of role adequacy that gives an idea, first of all, of the most conflict spheres of family life, where the differences of spouses are maximal and frequent; secondly, about the lowest role adequacy of spouses, taking into account their gender, the experience of living together; thirdly, the coherence of the cognitive, emotional and behavioral component in interpersonal relationships and role behavior of spouses; and fourth, as the resultant of the first three statements, on the GIF and GFSF formation. In this way, it can be concluded that the spouses of the ES subgroup (especially the wives) who have lived together for a sufficient number of years have the fewest discrepancies in the role adequacy and spheres of family life that may be conflicting. In its turn it also speaks about the consistency of the three components in the role behavior of the spouses, since each spouse not only knows and / or has an idea of the importance for the partner of the importance of this

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 133

or that sphere, but builds his/her behavior according to the assessment, his/her and another spouse. In the EM subgroup, a similar picture is observed, with only a slight difference in the role adequacy of young men who, in the opinion of their wives, do not sufficiently provide them with moral and emotional support, do not show activity in resolving economic issues and raising children. In subgroups of EE and CG, more couples with low role adequacy of spouses, in particular husbands, are observed. This gives grounds to talk about some crisis in relations between young spouses (EE), who have a joint life of 2 years and 6 months. In the CG subgroup, almost all spheres of family life are conflictual. This indicates the inconsistency of the three components underlying the role behavior. For example, ignorance of the importance and significance of a sphere for one’s spouse can lead to its underestimation and, consequently, to the inadequate behavior of a partner in it. Hence the conclusion suggests that the low role adequacy of the spouses can serve as an indicator of the lack of organization in the couple of GENERAL INFORMATION FUND (GIF) and GFSF, which indicates instability and high conflict in the couple (sometimes about the crisis in the relationship leading to divorce). When starting to analyze the data obtained by the REC – “He” method, it is necessary to recall that in this version the spouses were responsible for their partners, i.e, how, in their opinion, their spouses would respond. And in order to determine whether the spouses are well aware of their partners and can adequately assess the significance of a particular family function for them, the data in Tables 5 and 8 should be compared. In this way, the data of the self-esteem of the spouses and the representation of their partners on the scales of family values important for their joint livelihood are compared. This method makes it possible to verify the truth of the approvals that were identified with the help of the REC – “I”. Comparing the values in Tables 5 and 8, and also taking into account the results of the correlation analysis (presented below in Table 11) according to the methods of REC – “I” and REC – “He”, we see that they are more adequate in assessing the significance for their own the spouse of this or that value and the functions of the family as a whole in the sample are the spouses of the EM subgroup.

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

ES

EM

Household

Parenteducational

Social activity

Family values – Household

Family values – Parent-educational

Family values – Social activity

Family values Emotional– Emotionalpsychotherapeutic psychotherapeutic

6.9

7.2

7.6

7.4

External attractiveness

Personal identification with spouse Family values – Personal identification 7.6

Family values 5.6 scale (FVSm) Family values 6.0 scale (FVSf) SSC 0.4 Average based on 5.8 (5) a sample Family values 5.5 scale (FVSm) Family values 7.1 scale (FVSf) SSC 1.6 Average based on 6.3 (7) a sample

Table 8

Family values – External attractiveness

Intimate-sexual Family values – Intimate-sexual

Family values

Subgroup

Scale of family values of spouses with different experience in marriage (REC – “He”)

7.5

7.0

6.2

7.0

7.0

7.3

6.7

0.6

0.7

0.2

0.6

0.1

0.8

7.3 (2)

6.55 (4)

7.1 (3)

7.3 (2)

7.35 (1)

7.1 (3)

7.8

7.3

7.5

7.6

7.5

7.2

7.4

6.5

7.9

7.3

7.5

6.5

0.4

0.8

0.4

0.3

0

0.7

7.45 (4)

7.5 (3)

6.85 (6)

7.6 (2)

6.9 (5) 7.7 (1)

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 135

CG

EE

Table continuation Family values 5.2 scale (FVSm) Family values 4.6 scale (FVSf) SSC 0.6 Average based on 4.9 (5) a sample Family values 4.9 scale (FVSm) Family values 5.6 scale (FVSf) SSC 0.7 Average based on 5.25 a sample (7)

6.9

6.0

7.0

6.9

7.5

7.1

6.3

6.4

6.3

6.4

6.9

6.0

0.6

0.6

0.7

0.5

0.6

0.9

6.6 (3)

6.3 (4)

6.65 (2)

6.65 (2)

7.2 (1)

6.55 (2)

6.0

5.4

7.2

6.6

7.6

6.3

7.0

5.9

6.6

7.1

6.8

7.1

1.0

0.5

0.6

0.5

0.6

0.8

6.5 (6)

5.65 (5)

6.9 (2)

6.85 (3)

7.2 (1)

6.7 (4)

Herewith, the assessments of husbands (EM) are more adequate. Their assessments in 3 cases are adequate to self-assessment of wives – on the scales of Family values, Personal identification, Household, Emotionallypsychotherapeutic. Almost the same can be said about women of this subgroup (two adequate scores on the Family values, Personal identification, Parent-educational – and one approximately similar – Family values Emotionally-psychotherapeutic). Such an adequate assessment of spouses can be explained by the fact that young spouses attach great importance to personal identification with a partner, i.e. for them the community of interests, needs, values is important and they aspire to it. In the ES subgroup, the adequacy of women and men is approximately equal, with little benefit to women (two cases of coincidence versus one). At the same time, it should be noted that the spouses of this subgroup are characterized by the transfer of the personal significance of a function

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

of the family to the partner, which is reflected in the overestimation of the importance of the family life value for their husbands. Men, on the contrary, are inclined to underestimate the value for their wives of a particular function of the family. Hence the conclusion suggests that despite the years lived together, the spouses of the ES subgroup do not quite know each other, or do not want to know and / or take into account the views of their partners, i.e. they put their opinion and interests first. And this, as it turned out, can lead to low role adequacy of the spouses and serve as a reason for disagreements and conflicts. In the EE and CG subgroups, wives are somewhat more adequate. However, there is a significant difference in the self-esteem of spouses (wives and husbands) of the significance for them of a particular sphere and the estimates of their partners’ data on all scales of family values. Such a distortion of the assessments of the spouses of the EE and CG subgroups can be explained by their “crisis” state, as some “enter” in the 3-rd year crisis, while others already “come out” of it, resorting to a radical way – divorce. In order to see whether the assessments of the importance of family values, given by partners for each other, agree, tables 6 and 9 must be compared. As can be seen from the tables, the spouses of the ES and EM subgroups are more adequate in assessing the value of family values for their partners and having greater consistency in the sample as a whole in the sample, which also confirms the previous conclusions. In this way, in 80.7% of the couples of the ES subgroup there is a greater coherence between the spouses’ self-esteem and the assessment given by their partners of the importance of family values (according to the REC – “I” in 81.4%). In the EM subgroup, the number of couples that have this consistency is somewhat lower than in the ES, and according to the REC – “He” it is 77.3% (according to the REC – “I” – 80.9%). The greatest inadequacy is observed in divorcing spouses (44.3% versus 55%, according to REC – “I”). Adequacy of assessments of the EE subgroup spouses is significantly lower than that of the spouses of EM and ES, but higher than that of the CG spouses. In this way, this once again proves the conclusion that in the EE subgroup there is a higher level of conflict, in comparison with the level of conflict in the ES and EM couples, corresponding to their “crisis” period.

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 137

Table 9

Consistency of family values in married couples with different periods of marriage (REC – “He”)

Average

Family values – External attractiveness

Family values – Emotionalpsychotherapeutic

Family values – Social activity

Family values – Parenteducational

Family values – Household

Family values – Personal identification

Family values – Intimate sexual

Subgroup

Family values

EM 31 78% 28 70% 31 78% 30 75% 34 85% 32 80% 30 75% 77.3% ES 26 65% 35 88% 33 83% 37 93% 34 85% 31 78% 29 73% 80.7% EE 12 60% 10 50% 14 70% 14 70% 12 60% 11 55% 10 50% 59.3% CG 10 50% 8 40% 9 45% 8 40% 9 45% 10 50% 8 40% 44.3%

Analysis of the data in Tables 7 and 10 also provides an opportunity to conclude that the spouses can adequately assess for their spouses the degree of compliance of their role behavior with their partners.

Parenteducational

Social activity

Emotionalpsychotherapeutic

External attractiveness

Average number of couples with low RA

3

4

5

6

7

Male

10

11

17

11

8

Male (in%)

25%

17.5%

42.5%

18%

20%

Female

17

13

6

18

17

Female (in%)

42.5%

32.5%

15%

45%

42.5%

Family functions

2

1

EM

Table 10

Household

Role adequacy of spouses in couples with different experience in marriage (REC – “He”)

24.6% 35.5%

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

Number of couples with disagreement of role adequacy

Table continuation

ES

EE

СG

Male

5

10

13

16

13

Male (in%)

12.5%

25%

32.5%

40%

33%

Female

20

5

4

14

14

Female (in%)

50%

12.5%

10%

35%

35%

male

9

8

7

10

6

Male (in%)

45%

40%

35%

50%

30%

Female

7

7

4

9

6

Female (in%)

35%

35%

20%

45%

30%

male

11

9

10

11

6

Male (in%)

55%

45%

50%

55%

30%

Female

10

8

5

9

7

Female (in%)

50%

50%

25%

45%

35%

28.6% 28.5% 40% 33% 47% 41%

In this way, a comparison of the data on these tables showed that the men of the EM subgroup were more adequate in assessing the role behavior of their partners, while the spouses of the ES subgroup (men and women) are less adequate than the spouses of the EM. In the other two subgroups, EE and CG, the adequacy of such assessments is low enough. This once again confirms our previous conclusions. Table 11 Determination of the relationship between data on the family values scale of REC – “I” and REC – “He” using the Pearson correlation coefficient Pearson correlation coefficient EM Subgroup

Family values – External attractiveness

Family values – Emotionalpsychotherapeutic

Family values – Social activity

Family values – Parenteducational

Family values – Household

Family values – Personal identification

Family values – Intimate sexual

correlation of the REC “I” and REC “He” – husband.

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 139 Table continuation 0.485538

0.421081

0.592867

0.399631

0.619683

0.3562

0.448526

correlation of the REC “I” and REC “He” – wife. 0.549277

0.725442

0.583502

0.185771

0.61915

0.435155

0.272318

ES Subgroup correlation of the REC “I” and REC “He” – husband. 0.73367

0.363753

0.69227

0.5334

0.267887

0.633677

0.521645 0.361775

0.437437

correlation of the REC “I” and REC “He” – wife. 0.436484

0.301114

0.782969 0.401708

0.340132

EE Subgroup

0.61916

0.61824 0.60312

0.43215 0.53271

0.44412

Family values – External attractiveness

Family values – Emotionalpsychotherapeutic

Family values – Social activity

Family values – Parenteducational

Family values – Household

Family values – Personal identification

Family values – Intimate sexual

correlation of the REC “I” and REC “He” – husband.

0.12193

correlation of the REC “I” and REC “He” – wife. 0.65312

0.32151

0.64310

0.44243

0.26752

0.53214

0.14893

СG Subgroup correlation of the REC “I” and REC “He” – husband. 0.43285

0.31974

0.49384

0.61832

0.09963

0.43788

0.08933

correlation of the REC “I” and REC “He” – wife. 0.53228

0.09723

0.61982

0.32495

0.31931

0.32184

0.27651

In general, summarizing the results obtained with the REC method, it should be noted that: firstly, for young spouses (EM) and married couples with an average experience in marriage (ES), certain consistency of the notions of the most important family values is characteristic. Secondly, the husbands and wives of the entire sample demonstrate the typical disagreement between expectations and claims typical for young couples: the wife is oriented toward the realization of her own professional interests, expecting her husband to actively

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

perform “female” functions in the family, while her husband retains traditional ideas about role of women in family interaction. Thirdly, for all married couples, regardless of the length of their life together, the discrepancy between the ideal representations of the spouses about family values to the roles of the husband and wife for their realization is characteristic. In this way, the spouses of all subgroups (except for the ES subgroup), in fact, belong to the so-called “young” family (from 0.1 to 4 years of living together), highlighting the importance for the common life of community of interests, needs, views and perceptions identification), focus on the individual style of interpersonal interaction in the family, which is a serious conflict factor. In this way, our first and second hypotheses were confirmed. Coherence of representations, sets, family values of spouses simultaneously acts, on the one hand, as a mechanism, and on the other – as a result of the formation of the GFSF in a married couple. And the level of consistency of the representations, sets and value orientations of the spouses in the husband-wife dyad is an indicator of the degree of appropriation of each partner formed by the GFSF. The method of “Personal Differential” (cognitive component). The PD method allows us to talk about those qualities of personality that they see in themselves, in their real partners and unreal “ideal” husband (wife). In this way, we identified the qualities of the spouses ‘personality and determined the measure (level) of consistency between the spouses’ self-assessments and the assessments given by their partners. Results presented in tables 12 and 13. As can be seen from Table 12, men of all subgroups consider themselves attractive, strong, strong-willed, active and with a high level of self-esteem. Women have endowed themselves with the same qualities, with the exception of willpower, i.e. consider themselves weaker. At the same time for both men and women, in general, it is characteristic to attribute to the “ideal” spouse higher scores on the named qualities, in comparison with the self-assessments of their real partners. This is typical of young spouses at the beginning of a joint life, as shown by the results of the study of other specialists.

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 141

Table 12 Average values according to the method of PD in married couples with different experience in marriage (in points) EM Subgroup Male ”I”

”He”

“Ideal”

“I”

”She”

“Ideal”

”I”

”He”

“Ideal”

Female

“Ideal”

Male

”She”

Female

“I”

Factor

ES subgroup

E

5.9

6.2

6.6

6.0

6.1

6.6

6.0

6.2

6.6

6.3

6.3

6.6

S

5.4

5.1

5.1

4.8

5.3

5.1

5.3

5.2

5.0

4.9

5.5

5.7

A

5.1

5.1

6.0

5.2

5.0

6.0

5.0

5.3

4.9

5.3

4.8

5.0

EE Subgroup Male ”I”

”He”

“Ideal”

“I”

”She”

“Ideal”

”I”

”He”

“Ideal”

Female

“Ideal”

Male

”She”

Female

“I”

Factor

СG Subgroup

E

6.0

6.3

6.6

6.1

6.2

6.7

5.9

6.0

6.7

6.2

5.7

6.6

S

5.3

5.0

5.0

4.8

5.5

5.8

5.2

5.1

5.0

4.9

5.0

5.7

A

5.1

5.2

5.0

5.1

5.0

6.0

5.0

5.0

4.8

5.2

4.8

5.5

With regard to the comparison of the husband’s self-assessment and the evaluation of his wife in each particular couple and vice versa, this is of great value for us and makes it possible to determine the measure of the consistency of their assessments in a couple. The results of this comparison are presented in Table 13. In comparison of the husband’s self-esteem and evaluation by his wife, EM females are more adequate, as in the EM sub-group the number of couples with a mismatch is 24%, less adequate – the wives of the CG (33%). In comparison of the wife’s self-esteem and her husband’s assessment, the EM husbands are more adequate (20% of couples with a mismatch of estimates), and the husbands of the CG (35%) are less adequate.

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

Table 13 Mismatch of estimates by the method of PD in married couples with different experience in marriage The number of couples, with disagreement on PD methodology

Factor

Self-esteem of husband – estimation of wife

Self-esteem of husband – estimation of wife

I’m male – He is I’m male – Ideal female female

Self-esteem of wife – estimation of husband

Self-esteem of wife – estimation of husband

I’m female – She is male

I’m female – Ideal male EM

EM

ES

EM

ES

EM

E

9 (23%)

11 (28%)

11 (28%)

8 (20%)

6 (15%)

8 12 (20%) (30%)

5 (13%)

S

9 (23%)

16 (40%)

5 (13%)

13 (33%)

11 (28%)

16 13 (40%) (33%)

13 (33%)

A

10 (25%)

5 (13%)

5 (13%)

10 (25%)

7 (18%)

11 14 (28%) (35%)

12 (30%)

Average

24%

27%

18%

20%

20%

Self-esteem of husband – estimation of wife Factor

Self-esteem of husband – estimation of wife

I’m male – He is I’m male – Ideal female female

ES

29%

13%

ES

25%

Self-esteem of wife – estimation of husband

Self-esteem of wife – estimation of husband

I’m female – She is male

I’m female – Ideal male EE

EE

CG

EE

CG

EE

CG

E

5 (25%)

6 (30%)

8 (40%)

9 (45%)

4 (20%)

6 5 (30%) (25%)

6 (30%)

S

5 (25%)

9 (45%)

5 (25%)

7 (35%)

6 (30%)

8 7 (40%) (35%)

8 (40%)

A

6 (30%)

5 (25%)

6 (30%)

8 (40%)

7 (35%)

7 7 (35%) (35%)

7 (35%)

Average

27%

33%

32%

40%

28%

35%

32%

CG

35%

The number of couples who have the least disagreement in the husband’s self-assessment and his wife’s “ideal” husband ideas, says that in these couples the psychological portrait of real husbands

Chapter 2. Experimental Investigation of Psychological Factors and Mechanisms... 143

corresponds to the representation of the wives about the “ideal” husband and can serve as an indicator of the satisfaction of wives with the qualities of the personality of their husbands. In this way, in EM and ES (18% and 20%), wives are more satisfied with the qualities of their husbands’ personality than in EE and CG. The number of couples who have the least disagreement in the wife’s self-esteem and her husband’s “ideal” wife’s ideas suggests that in these couples the psychological portrait of real wives corresponds to the idea of husbands about an “ideal” wife and can serve as an indicator of husbands ‘satisfaction with the qualities of their wives’ personality. In this way, in EM and ES (13% and 25%) husbands are more satisfied with the qualities of their wives’ personality, as they are consistent with the qualities of an “ideal” wife. In this way, in more stable and safe couples, where the GFSF is formed and the degree of its appropriation by each of the partners is high enough, the spouses value their partners and they are quite satisfied with the qualities of each other’s personality. Experimental method “Mutual Understanding” (cognitive and behavioral component). It should be recalled that this experimental method was conducted only with the spouses of the EE subgroup (for a more detailed analysis of the essence of the “crisis” period in these married couples). In this way, carrying out the experiment allowed us to directly observe the process of formation of the “general fund of semantic formations” in spouses. For convenience in processing data and performing correlation analysis using the Spearman rank correlation coefficient rs, based on the results of the experiment and data from other techniques, the names that the spouses gave to the pictures were grouped and divided into 6 main spheres according to 6 scales from the REC method: intimate sexual sphere, personal identification with the spouse, economic-household, parental-upbringing, social activity and emotional-psychotherapeutic sphere. When analyzing the data, only one scale from this technique was not allocated – a scale of external attractiveness, since this sphere did not appear in the experiment in any way. After that, for each scale, we derived the percentage frequency

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Psychological aspects of marital relationships stabilization

of the occurrence of difficulties in achieving mutual understanding between the spouses. As a result of the experiment, the following data were obtained, as reflected in Table 14. Table 14 Difficulties in achieving mutual understanding between the spouses of the EE subgroup (according to the experimental method)

Name of sphere

Frequency of difficulties in achieving mutual understanding

1. Intimate-sexual

50%

2. Personal identification with spouse

27%

3. Household

66%

4. Parent-educational

33%

5. Social activity

45%

6. Emotional-psychotherapeutic

53%

The data given in the table indicate that the difficulties of the EE spouses are most often found in the household sphere (66%), then the emotional-psychotherapeutic sphere (53%), the third place is the intimate-sexual sphere (50%). These data are consistent with data on the REC method (p