Abstract and keywords
Abstract (English):
The work on the basis of the theoretical hermeneutic inter- pretation of the works of W. James, Z. Freud, R. Burns, R. Rogers and others, foreign scientists reveals the essence of self-esteem of a person as an "I" -image, discusses how scientifically justified and effective the use of self-esteem as coping - personality resource in extreme conditions of police officers' activity. The work raises the question of the need for a more in-depth study of the relationship between self-esteem and the locus of control, empathy, etc., and makes some assumptions about the possibility of linkage of their loci in one chromosome. As a result of the analysis of the works, the conclusion is drawn that self-esteem as "I" is an image of a rather complexly arranged personal psychological phenomenon, which is reasonably considered in psychology as a coping resource.

self-esteem and claims, "I" -concept, "I" -image, coping re- sources, coping strategies, defense mechanisms, coping behavior, police officers, stress
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Self-esteem of a person in the domestic scientific literature exists as an assessment of one's own vision and self-assessment, and in foreign Anglo-American sources as a "I-concept" of a person. In recent years, an interest has appeared in the literature in the study of self-esteem as a resource for coping of a person with difficult life situations.

The self-assessment of police officers as representatives of the executive power in the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia is of particular interest, both from the point of view of their social status and their moral and legal relations with the population. The activities of police officers are so complex, dynamic, daily stressful and stressful that they constantly have to overcome situations that threaten the life and health of innocent people and - themselves. Since these situations are permanent, one has to look for ways to adapt to them, i.e. coping strategies [22, p. 27] and connect consciously or automatically - external and internal resources, and in general coping strategies [1, p.3-18; 3, p. 20-24; 4; 6, p. 184-188; 8, p. 38-42; 12, p. 41-47; 16, 144-153; ] to cope with stressful situations.

However, psychologists understand that human internal resources (self-esteem, locus of control, empathy, optimism, etc.) as coping resources are exhaustible [15; 18; 19; 21; 22.]. Internal defense mechanisms of the personality, as Z. Freud believed [11, p. 45], are so arranged that they turn on automatically in the event of a sudden threat, ie. unconsciously, and with frequent switching on, their level of activity decreases. Lack of choice of coping strategies and resources - leads to depletion of the body and the development of adaptation diseases. The physiological mechanism of this phenomenon is described in the works of G. Selye (1936-56).

Now it has become known that the state of stress in the current social conditions occurs more often when an individual experiences a loss of material and moral resources or is exposed to the threat of loss, as well as, if he does not receive the expected results from the investments made [15, 17, p.79; 18, p. 513-524; 19, p. 337-424; 20, p. 9-21; 21, p. 207-218]. The loss of both internal resources (as a result of burnout and depletion) and external socially significant resources (in the form of material values, etc.) can be the main cause of stress in a person. S. Hobfall with coauthors [15; 18; 19; 20; 21] believe that it is much more difficult to prevent the loss of resources than to acquire new ones. However, the mechanism of the role of internal resources, such as self-esteem, in coping with stress in psychological terms, has not yet been adequately studied.

Therefore, the object of this study is self-esteem as an I-concept of personality, well studied in the fundamental works of famous foreign scientists.

  The subject of the research is an indirect theoretical identification of possible links between the psychological mechanisms of the influence of self-esteem as a "I" -structure on the success of coping personality behavior under stress.

The purpose of this study is to examine self-esteem in the existing scientific concepts of well-known foreign scientists, in order to find out: - as far as possible and promisingly, the study and mobilization of self-esteem as a coping resource of a person in extreme conditions of activity, to ensure coping behavior of police officers.

Scientific novelty - lies in the study of the role and connection of the internal mechanisms of self-esteem (overestimated-underestimated) as a coping resource of the individual.

The significance of this study lies in the fact that it shows the principle of continuity in science, the relationship between scientific achievements and the assumptions of scientists; without knowledge of the basics of which, the correct development of science and practice of teaching the assessment and use of coping resources is impossible.

Results of the hermeneutic method of analysis

William James' concept (11.01.1842-26.08.1910).  James was the first scientist to begin to study in detail the self-esteem of the individual. The individual, according to James, is formed in the process of continuous interaction with the environment. He believed that a person's self-consciousness is dual and contains 2 parts: conscious and cognizable in society [5, 135p.]. According to James, self-esteem, as a natural quality, is of two types and includes two opposite feelings: complacency-overestimated self-esteem (pride, hubris, arrogance); and dissatisfaction with oneself - low self-esteem (modesty, anxiety, despair, shame). For the assessment, James proposed a formula: self-esteem is equal to the number of achievements/divided by the number of aspirations (self-esteem=success/aspirations). In the context of the scientist's reasoning: a person's failures with an overestimated self-esteem are caused by a lack of achievements, and success comes with an adequate self-esteem of the individual [5, p. 89-90.]. According to W. James, it is impossible to be truly successful if the aspirations are higher than the achievements of the individual. Such situations often occur with "false" representations, described later by R. Rogers [10, p.214-220].

Z. Freud's concept (06.05.1856-23.09.1939). At the beginning of his work, Z. Freud represented mental life in the form of three levels: the unconscious, preconscious and conscious; later he proposed a model of personality self-esteem, consisting of three components: "It", "I" and "Super-I" [11, p. 27 -57].

1) "It" is the base instincts of a person, the energy of drives, obeying the principles of obtaining pleasure; 2) "I" - real, - the interaction of the individual with society; 3) "Super-I" - a censor who observes the principles of morality and conscience, punishing himself with a sense of guilt, reproaches of conscience. Freud believed that if "I" acts to please "It", then "Super-I" and "I" -real are in conflict. In such a situation, the individual needs to save himself with the help of such protective mechanisms as repression, projection, regression, sublimation, etc., described by Z. Freud in his psychoanalysis. In the mechanisms of personality psychoanalysis, all this is presented as a holistic internal process that has three facets of "I", which are involved in the adoption or choice of this or that decision by a person. When defense mechanisms are activated, the three "I", interacting, act as both motivating and restraining forces when making decisions, for example, as a resource for achieving success when choosing coping strategies.

The teachings of Z. Freud [11,9-157.] Helps us to assume that psychological cognitive mechanisms and the libidinal motive "It" through the urge and the desire to find a way out of stress, can become a conscious energy potential of the personality. And at the same time, the interaction of the internal faces of self-esteem becomes a resource for achieving success in threatening situations that require energy costs from the subject. It should be noted that it is in psychoanalysis that the nature of these phenomena is studied, in accordance with which such interaction is carried out, i.e. success in the fight is achieved through the weakening or strengthening of libidogenic energy, created in the human body as a resource.

The concept of symbolic interactionists by Charles Cooley (17.08.1864-07.05.1929) and J. Mead (27.02.1863.-26.04.1931). Ch. Cooley [7, 303-307;] put forward the concept of "mirror I", proving that self-esteem of a person is based on the opinions of others and is formed in a group, where a person integrates his values and beliefs into this environment. Cooley believed that where there is no social communication, there can be no developed thinking. George Mead [9, 27-29.] Supplemented Cooley's theory, believing that the development of the I-concept of a person is a social process taking place within the personality, from where the "I-cognizing" and "I-empirical" are born. These concepts of the authors contribute to the assumption that all socialized individuals will be able to adequately resort to various forms of social support as external social resources of the individual, in support of the research of Lazarus and Folkman and their other followers [22, p.20; 24, p. 1172-1182; 4, p. 80; 6.184-188.].

I-concept by Carl Ransom Rogers (08.01.1902-04.02.1987). In his research Rogers [10, 27-177; 23,178-188] always proceeded from his own clinical observations. Rogers' I-concept is an I-concept based on past, present and perspective. He believed that in the case of significant differences between the "I" -ideal from the "I" -real, the person will feel a psychological dissonance, since the "I" -ideal is the image of the "I" that the person would like to correspond to. Rogers revealed that the "I" of the individual in his experiment is the "I" —the process-system in which a person develops and grows. He believed that in self-esteem, a person strives for self-actualization and that this tendency is hereditary and is inherent in any person as a desire for selfhood. This statement about self-esteem and self-actualization that occurs throughout life is one of the key postulates of Rogers' "I-concept" [10, 480p.].

But at the same time, Rogers revealed that the subject can create a false image of "I", trying to look better, to represent a positive, but false I-concept. Ignoring, or, denying, their problems, exaggerating, the individual constantly distorts his experiences. The more he has to resort to lies, the more the imbalance increases and the person's defensive reactions to the demands of the environment are reduced: anxiety, fear, psychotic manifestations in behavior arise. Distorted evaluative perception of an individual does not work as an adaptive coping resource. This observation of the author forms the basis of his client-centered therapy [23, 178-188.], teaching the psychologist to correct false behavior as one of the causes of stressful situations created by the client himself as a result of falsely overestimated self-esteem.

E. Erickson's concept (15.06 1902-12.05.1994.) The concept of this author [13; 14.] Includes periods of personality development, consisting of sequential 8 stages, including biological, psychological and social elements. He believed that the "I"-identity of the individual, forming in parallel with the group identity, creates in the subject a sense of stability and reliability and that: 1) the individual develops gradually, preparing to communicate with a wide social circle; 2) society is interested in providing people with such an opportunity. This allows us to believe that self-esteem, as an internal resource, closely interacts with the external social resources of society as a genotype with a phenotype and develops.

Robert Burns' concept [2]. In his concept, Burns, relying on the works of W. James, Z. Freud, E. Erickson and R. Rogers, came to the conclusion that the I-concept is a system of the individual's ideas about himself: "the image of I" and his assessment of these ideas. Allocation of two components by him - descriptive and evaluative, made it possible to consider the "I-concept" as a set of evaluative attitudes of the personality, directed at oneself.  According to Burns, 3 different perceived, but not always coinciding attitudes predispose to maladaptive behavior: 1) the real I - associated with the person's perception of his own abilities; 2) mirror (social) I - associated with how others see him; 3) ideal I - associated with a person's ideas about how he would like to see himself; the coincidence of these characteristics is the basis for the correct perception and development of a person, and is an indicator of his mental health, high adaptability of his coping behavior, and a guarantor of the choice of adaptive coping strategies.

Discussion and conclusions

Examining the concepts in chronological order clearly shows the contributions of scholars to the study of human self-esteem. In the presence of differences, the authors showed the components of this psychological phenomenon, emphasizing its complexity and versatility. This allows you to understand the degree of study and the essence of the evaluative part of a person's self-esteem; - the patterns of development of its sides, on the consistency of which the success of the individual depends.

These theories are united by the definition of I-concept as a developing self-evaluating system of a person, which includes "real", "social", "ideal" facets. In general, the "self-esteem" of a person is an internal resource that allows him to assess the situation in the face of a threat and to be successful in coping with stress. But beyond the scope of our knowledge is the mechanism of communication with self-esteem of such intrapersonal resources as locus of control, empathy, optimism, etc. Since the human body is a single interdependently functioning system, it can be assumed that the locus of control is linked with self-esteem as with the structure of "I", since it also contains external and internal evaluative parts.

Self-esteem as a "I" -image is a rather complex psychological phenomenon that has been reasonably considered in psychology as an intrapersonal coping resource, but the mechanisms of its action and their controllability have not yet been fully elucidated. There are prerequisites that speak about the heredity of intrapersonal mechanisms of coping resources.


1. The formula of W. James [5,135 p.], On the conformity of claims to success, suggests that self-esteem of a person adequate to achievements is a resource for his development. An individual, with an adequate assessment of his abilities and capabilities, can achieve success in overcoming difficult life situations. Therefore, during psychocorrection, the psychologist must teach the client to measure his claims with his abilities, with his potential.

2. Z. Freud's concept shows the potential of the interaction energy of the internal faces of self-esteem ("It", "I", and "Super-I") - which, when protective mechanisms are activated, in the process of coping personality behavior, sublimating, can turn into an incentive resource for coping with stress. It follows from this that the psychologist, when psychocorrection, must take into account the mechanisms of sublimation according to Z. Freud.

3. The concept of R. Rogers [10] confirmed that the pathogenesis of difficult life situations is created by the subject himself as a result of inadequately high self-esteem. The client's falsely distorted representation of his "I" does not work as an adaptive resource, therefore, psychotherapy, based on psycho-correction of the client’s false "I", will contribute to coping with difficult life situations. But for this, the psychologist must own, the mechanisms of communication according to R. Rogers.

4. R. Burns' conclusion that the more the evaluative parts of I-real and I-ideal coincide, the more mentally healthy a person is, suggests that at the same time his strategies of behavior, coping with complex life situations, will be more adaptive, which must be taken into account by a psychologist in psychoprophylaxis.

In the future, we propose to form adaptive coping behavior in police officers as a guarantee of the prevention of adaptation diseases and deviant behavior. Within the framework of studying the problem of coping behavior, it is of interest: in what ways police officers currently cope with everyday difficulties and stresses and what resources are used for this; is it possible to practically sublimate aggressive dissonance, between different facets of self-esteem, into an adaptive resource. There is a need for research into the connection between coping strategies and Freudian defense mechanisms in personality behavior.


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