Background. One of theoretical approaches towards developmental tasks in adolescence is the study of personal autonomy. The modern fast-paced world expects adolescents to be independent and proactive.
The Objective is to study the overall state of the issue and to highlight the mostly discussed theoretical approaches to personal autonomy, to provide the reader with the detailed review of the approaches to personal autonomy from the view-point of autonomy conflict resolution.
Design. The analysis of various approaches to personal autonomy identified developmental sources of autonomy within intra- and in interpersonal ways. The paper discusses theoretical approaches to adolescent’s personal autonomy that considers conflict as a mechanism of development. The paper presents a model of psychological readiness to resolve autonomy conflicts that may disclose how conflicts are triggered and how they could be resolved within intra- and in interpersonal way.
Results. An analysis of classical and modern research has shown that personal autonomy is appropriated by adolescents through their resolution of conflicts in various areas of the psychological space. Based on the provisions of a number of theoretical approaches, it has been revealed that the core matter of conflicts is the contradiction “external control vs one's own will” and the contradiction “dependence vs independence”. The author proposes studying personal autonomy by drawing insights form psychological readiness of autonomy conflicts resolution using locus of control scale and also through the measurement of actual conflicts of autonomy and assertion as conflict resolution style using existential experience.
The author's vision of the personal autonomy of adolescents is based on the study of psychological readiness to resolve autonomy conflicts at the dispositional level. Conflict as a mechanism of development is a developmental crisis stage where contradictions could be removed. Diversity of classical and modern studies show that the autonomy is developed in adolescents through the resolution of conflicts in different spheres of psychological space. The social cognitive domain theory of J.G.Smetana and the theory of psychological sovereignty (S.K.Nartova-Bochaver) are discussed in detail. According to the theories under consideration, personal autonomy reveals in adolescents to a different degree and at different levels. In some domains, they are more independent, while they do not manifest independence in other psychological domains.
Conclusion. The approach to adolescents’ personal autonomy as autonomy conflict resolution in different psychological domains is described. Autonomy conflict resolution can be controlled or prohibited by close relatives, e.g. parents. The model of psychological readiness of autonomy conflict resolution may disclose how autonomy conflicts are triggered by and be resolved within intra- and in interpersonal way. The contradictions may be removed through autonomy conflict resolution.
The paper describes the research results of relationship between personal autonomy and responsibility level in adolescence. The theoretical idea of unity of freedom and responsibility can be regarded as link between personal autonomy and level of responsibility in adolescence. The hypothesis of correlation between level of responsibility and autonomy in adolescence is realized. The sample includes 368 school students aged from 13 to 17, Moscow, Russia. The questionnaire to diagnose autonomy defines emotional, cognitive, intellectual and behavioural components of autonomy. The second questionnaire describes the responsibility level using the example of different moral dilemmas. The results of the empirical research describe the hypothesis on the relationship between personal autonomy and level of responsibility. Personal autonomy includes value, emotional, cognitive and behavioural components. Cluster groups with different levels of autonomy are defined: high autonomy, intellectual autonomy, low autonomy and disharmonic type of autonomy. Higher level of a number of autonomy components correlates with higher level of responsibility. Analysis of moral norm deviation shows that type and content of moral dilemma play an important role in responsibility acceptance. Gender differences in level of responsibility is defined in the following way: females show higher level of responsibility than males.