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Home / Issues / № 1, 2014

Teaching science

Kostina L.A., Milyaeva L.M.


The problem of adaptation among students who have entered institutions of higher education, has become urgent. It is defined by the fact that education is a “source of staff potential for economical infrastructure” [3]. Efficiency of training specialists who stand up to the challenges of time, requires certain conditions in which future specialist will feel comfortable and confident. Regretfully, newcomers of colleges feel certain discomfort for a significant period of time, and sometimes their education results in  dismissal or quitting. Modern society that is defined by dynamism, social-economic strain, necessity to solve a great number of problems escalates requirements towards adaptive skills of a person.  It increases responsibility of institutes in terms of adapting students successfully for collage education and creating the necessary conditions for this process. 

Studies of psychological aspects of human adaptation to different terms of environment are explained in detail by works of B.G. Ananiev, V.V. Antipov, V.V. Gritsenko, E.F. Zeyer, V.V. Konstantinov, A.A. Nalchadjan, A.A. Rean, and others.

Problems of social adaptation are studied in works by L.G. Dikaya, R.F. Iskhanov, A.L. Zhuravlev, N. Smelzer, O.S. Sovetova, N.S. Yuzhanina, and others.

Problems of students' adaptation to educational process have found their reflection in researches by S.A. Gaponov, N.I. Kozlovskiy, R.S. Nizamutdinov, V.S. Novikov, Y.V. Sherbatykh, and others.

As investigation of scientific sources has shown, adaptation is an integral biological, physical, physiological, and pedagogic process of individual nature that majorly defines a degree of its influence upon a person. The following types of adaptation are outlined: biophysiological and social-psychological. Biophysiological adaptation is accommodation of an organism with stable and changing conditions of environment and also changes within itself. Social-psychological adaptation is accommodation of a person with new environment at cost of certain energy, and also mutual adaption between an individual and environment.

According to A.A. Rean, social-psychological adaptation is an active self-alteration of a person in accordance with the requirements of the situation. [5].

Adaptation is a premise of activity and its necessary condition. This fact defines positive meaning of adaptation in successful functioning of an individual within a certain social role.

Social-psychological adaptation of students who have entered an institute, has its special features. It is conditioned by the fact that students have to change their household conditions for a new way of life: a quick transition towards independent living, a new and unfamiliar social group, personal freedom, not controlled by parents, destruction of the former social relations, etc. The basic factor that a students has to adapt to is a completely new and different organization of educational process. Students face new forms and method of training that differ much from how they were treated in school, new emotional experience; their regime of work and rest, sleep and diet changes (A.S. Faustov, I.B. Boykina).

In case adaptation doesn't take place, and a student is unable to accommodate with new conditions, additional complications can occur in terms of mastering a subject of activity and even disturbance in its regulation. In this case modern system of higher education should imply formation of objective premises for a successful adaptation of a student's identity at the moment of entering an institute, thus modeling the process of social-psychological adaptation and managing it.

Authorial research has been taken in 2012-2014 at the foundation of Astrakhan state medical academy. The objective of this research was to reveal level of social-psychological adaptation of first-year students to education in a medical academy.

Defining adaptation of a student to training within an institute as a continuous process of objective accommodation with terms of environment, change in nature of a student's relations with content and organization of educational process, modification of environment to fit one's picture of it [1], we outlined the following components of it: motivational, cognitive, communicative-behavior.

Motivational component of social-psychological adaptation shows us how adequately a student apprehends and estimates himself and his social relations, evaluates his needs and abilities, realizes motives of his behavior in a new environment.

 We outline three levels of motivational component formation: low, moderate, and high. At low level a student is unable to estimate himself adequately, does not realize motives of his behavior completely, does not evaluate his needs and abilities. Moderate level is defined by complications in estimating oneself, realizing motives of one's behavior, student evaluates his needs and abilities sporadically. High level is expressed in adequate estimating of student's own self, clear realization of his needs, abilities, motives of behavior.  

Cognitive component is related to presence of knowledge on social environment, to which a person has to adapt, mastering methods of directing within it. Cognitive processes provide for an individual's realization himself as a member of certain social group.

We define three levels of cognitive component formation: low level of it defines students who have minimal knowledge on the environment to which they will have to adapt, are unable to direct within it, and do not realize their implication with other members of this group. Moderate level is typical for students who have episodic knowledge on the environment in which they live and learn, direct themselves only within separate events of this environment, realize their implication and participation with other people occasionally. High level of this component shows us that a student knows the environment in which he adapts, well, can easily direct himself within it and realizes his implication and participation with other students.

Communicative-behavioral component is expressed in a person's ability to analyze and solve social problems, implement behavioral strategies, it includes skills to establish constructive relations during interacting with separate individuals as well as a group in which the person accommodates [2].

We outline three levels of forming communicative-behavioral component. Low level is defined by lack of ability to analyze and solve social problems and behave within a society among students. Students of this level experience significant complications during interaction with  separate individuals or groups of people. Moderate level indicates certain complications during analysis and solution of social problems in behavior. Skills to establish constructive relations with separate individuals and group in which a student accommodates, are expressed sporadically. High level indicates students' ability to analyze and solve most of social problems independently, establish and maintain constructive relations with separate individuals  and the group in which a student adapts.  

Thus, we have introduced leveled characteristic of the process of students' social-psychological components' formation that will help us to define levels of their formation among students of medical institute and model process that provides for successful formation of the listed components of social-psychological adaptation.

As integrity of any system is achieved through interrelation between structural and functional components, social-psychological adaptation is represented as a stage-divided dynamic process, and its purpose is to achieve optimal correspondence between a person and environment. Within this process we outline diagnostic, informative, organizational-activity, and reflective stage. Each of these stages includes the totality of components: purpose – content – organization – result.

The process of social-psychological adaptation takes place during realization of programme “Adaptation of first-year students” that has been developed by tutors of the department of psychology and pedagogy of Astrakhan state medical academy. The program is designed for one year and carried out with consideration of structural components of social-psychological adaptation and the outlined stages of adaptation process.

Researches have pointed out that most students who entered the university, had a high lever of anxiety, lacked confidence in their abilities, were not satisfied with their activity in new conditions, and all these factors usually lead to disadaptation [4]. It was critical that each newcomer would realize his abilities, form a positive ME-concept, determine his strengths and abilities to train in a given institute.

At this stage psychologists of the department and group leaders played the leading part in studying special features of each student's personality. The following diagnostic methodics have been used during our work with students: question lists, tests, study of documents, individual interviews, observations, sociometrics, etc. We studied levels of self-evaluation, training motivation, professional direction, presence of anxiety, relations within groups, etc. Analysis of the received data allowed us to see complications, faced by first-year students and define directions of individual work. Students were enabled to evaluate themselves adequately and realize motives of their activity in new conditions.

The basic purpose of the second stage – informational - is to enrich students with information on an institute that they have entered, its traditions, norms, rules, requirements, and ways of its operation. Deputy principals, deans, heads of departments met with students and talked to them on organization ways of the institute. Excursions to academy museum and library have been organized, meetings has been carried out on different topics: “ We are team”, “Laws, to which we live”, “Russia is known for its doctors”, etc. Students passed a system of training courses under observation of psychologists. They experienced a special emotional rise during preparation for the night of initiation. The purpose of the described measures was to help a student to direct himself within organization of academy life, feel comfortable in new conditions, and participate in the system of new relations.    

At the third – organizational-active – stage we involved first-year students into various types of activity of cognitive, creative, social, and communicative nature in order to train them to form their behavioral model in different situations and develop their skills of interaction. At this stage a great attention was paid to equipping students with knowledge of basic ideas of organizing intellectual labour in scientific way: work with reference books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, internet sources, composition of summaries, etc., as it is necessary to maintain (and sometimes even form) a positive motivation of educational activity. Students took part in discussions round tables, within which problems of preparing students for new forms and methods of educational work in an institute and comparing knowledge with professional competence. An important part in achieving objectives of the third stage was played by mutual activity of a student and his tutor that forms partnership relations and develops subjective position of a student. Entertaining programmes, contests, shows that develop creative abilities of students and secure their comfort within the institute, were selected to involve students into leisure activity. Formation of communicative skills was carried out during training courses. 

The objective of reflexive stage is to make students realize level of their adaption. Question list “Adaption of students within an institute” by T.D. Dubovitskaya, multi-level person question list “Adaptivity” by A.G. Macklakova and S.V. Chermyanin, discusssions, etc. have been used to define level of each component of social-psychological adaptation among first-year students, presence of adaptation problems. Psychic-pedagogic support was offered to students who needed it, collective work has been organized with students and doctors in order to overcome complications.

Efficiency of the process of social-psychological adaptation among students of medical institution has been proved by diagnostic research. 100 of first-year students, chosen via method of random selection, took part in diagnostic research. Complex nature of this work was defined by the fact that we were unable to reveal control group due to inhumane nature of such approach, as all students were involved into the process of social-psychological adaptation. Results are provided according to comparative data of ascertain and initial cut. During the research we revealed that less than one third part of respondents had a high level of formation of adaptation components (table 1). Motivational and communicative-behavioral components were especially undeveloped (38% and 28% correspondingly).

Table 1.

Levels of formation of social-psychological adaptation among students of medical institute in the beginning of experimental work

Adaptation components

Levels of components formation

















Results of the formation experiment allowed us to make a conclusion on efficiency of the undertaken work as indexes had decreased significantly: 65% of students achieved high level of cognitive component, 56% - motivational component, and 50% - communication-behavioral. Accordingly, number of students who had low level of social-psychological adaptation, decreased (Table 2).

Table 2.

Levels of formation of social-psychological adaptation among students of medical institute in the end of experimental work


Adaptation components

Levels of components formation
















On the whole, results of our research prove that systematic and stable work allows one to organize the process of social-psychological adaptation and, as a result, provide for efficiency of educational process in an institute in process of training a competitive specialist.

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2. Kashapov A.C. Struktura sothialno-psikhologicheskoy adaptirovannosti studentov: Avtoreferat dissertatsii kand.ped.hauk. Yaroslavl, 2012, pp.

3. Kostina L.A. Profilaktika dezadaptatsii studentov kak uslovie povysheniya kachestva obrazovatelnogo protsessa v vuze. [ Problemy podgotovki spetsialistov vysshey shkoly v sovremennykh sotsiokulturnykh usloviyakh]. Sbor. m-lov I Vserossiyskoy naychno-prakticheskoi konferentsii. Stavropol: StMU., 2013, pp. 136-139.

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5. Posokhova S.T. Psikhlogiya adaptiruyuscheysya lichnosti:subektivnyy podkhod. Dissert. dokt.psikhol.hauk: SPb., 2001.

6. Rean A.A., Kudashev A.R., Baranov A.A. Psikhologiya adaptatsii lichnosti..[ Praym-EVROZNAK] . SPb., 2008.

Bibliographic reference

Kostina L.A., Milyaeva L.M. SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL ADAPTATION OF STUDENTS TO STUDY IN MEDICAL SCHOOL. International Journal Of Applied And Fundamental Research. – 2014. – № 1 –
URL: www.science-sd.com/456-24691 (04.12.2021).