Psychological Research (in the Balkans) <section class="home-top"> <div class="top-info images-info col1"> <div id="topslideshow"> <div><img src="" alt="" width="358" height="502" /></div> <div><img src="" alt="" width="402" height="500" /></div> </div> </div> <div class="top-info col2"> <h6 class="textupper textbold">Published Since</h6> <div class="journal-div" style="margin-bottom: 10px;"> <div class="textbold">Psychological Research (in the Balkans) (PsyRB)</div> <div class="textit">Scholarly Journal of Psychology</div> <div class="textbold">2023</div> <div class="textbold"> <p>ISSN 2815-4797 (Print)</p> <p>ISSN 2815-4800 (Online)</p> </div> </div> <div class="journal-div" style="margin-bottom: 10px;"> <div class="textbold">Psychological Research</div> <div class="textit"><em>Scholarly Journal of Psychology</em></div> <div class="textbold">1998</div> <div class="textbold"> <p>ISSN 1311-4700 (Print)</p> <p>ISSN 2367-4563 (Online)</p> </div> </div> <div class="journal-div" style="margin-bottom: 10px;"> <div class="textbold">Psychological Research</div> <div class="textit"><em>Scholarly Journal of Psychology</em></div> <div class="textbold">1987</div> <div class="textbold"> <p>ISSN 0205-2733</p> </div> </div> <div> <p class="textbold">Print out:</p> <p>Two issues per year</p> <p>Issue 1 (January - June)</p> <p>Issue 2 (July - December)</p> </div> <div> <p class="textupper textbold">PUBLISHER</p> <p class="textupper"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong>BULGARIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES</strong></a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong>Institute for Population and Human Studies</strong></a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong>Department of Psychology</strong></a></p> </div> <div> <p class="textupper textbold">EDITORIAL OFFICE</p> <p>BULGARIA, Sofia 1113,</p> <p>Acad. Georgi Bonchev St., bld. 6, fl. 5</p> <p>E-mail: <strong><a href=""></a></strong></p> </div> </div> <div class="top-info col3"> <p>As of 2023, the <strong>Psychological Research (in the Balkans) Journal (PsyRB)</strong> provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.</p> <p><strong>"Psychological Research (in the Balkans)" (PsyRB)</strong> is devoted to advancing psychological science by providing an international platform for timely dissemination of important research ideas and findings. The focus of the journal is psychological research in the Balkans. Diverse countries coexist in this region in terms of EU membership and religion: countries with different cultures and customs. The specific problems of studying the psychological and social factors in combination with cross-cultural research will develop the knowledge of the region.</p> <p><strong>Psychological Research (in the Balkans) (PsyRB)</strong> goes beyond its original regional focus to feature high quality articles that address issues that challenging contemporary societies worldwide. It is a general-interest journal that publishes articles demonstrating scientific excellence across the entire spectrum of psychological science, including cognitive, social, developmental, educational, industrial, organizational, and health psychology, as well as cognitive neuroscience, and other related topics. The journal welcomes submissions, including empirical research articles, short reports, reviews, meta-analyses, replications and commentaries.</p> <p class="top-links"><a class="textbold" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ERIH Plus</a> <a class="textbold" href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Google Scholar</a> <a class="textbold" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CEEOL</a>VINITI</p> </div> </section> <section class="home-bottom"> <div class="bottom-info col1"> <h3 class="title"><span class="accent-color"><strong>Forthcoming Articles</strong></span></h3> <div class="frth-article"> <h4 class="page_title"> </h4> <div class="author-name"> </div> <div class="art-date"> </div> </div> </div> <div class="bottom-info col2 text-carousel-bottom"> <p><img src="" alt="" width="250" height="70" /></p> <p><strong>With the support of<br />MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND SCIENCE<br />NATIONAL SCIENCE FUND<br />under contract with NSF:<br /></strong>ДНП 02/38 – 28.06.2010<br />ДНП 03/57 – 12.12.2011<br />ДНП 04/29 – 11.12.2014<br />ДНП 05/ 14 – 20.12.2016<br />КП06—НП11/01 – 11.12.2018<br />КП -06-НП/51 – 18.12.2019<br />КП-06-НП2/2 – 02.12.2020<br />КП-06-НП3/ 68 – 18.12.2021<br />КП-06-НП4/45 – 05.12.2022</p> </div> </section> en-US (Maya) (Irina) Tue, 24 Oct 2023 00:00:00 +0300 OJS 60 RELIGIOSITY, EXPERIMENTIAL SYSTEM AND COPING WITH STRESS: THEORETICAL PREMISES <p>The paper aims to analyze the theoretical premises of research on the link between religiosity and experiential system concerning coping.&nbsp;A lot of empirical data confirm the impact of religiosity as an individual characteristic on coping with stress. Mainly, the research considers the findings in the context of Lazarus's psychological stress theory and suggests that religious persons apply specific coping strategies which positively or negatively affect mental health. Only a few explore the role of religiosity in the context of Cognitive-experiential self-theory (CEST), which focuses on the adaptive function of implicit beliefs operationalised in the construct of Constructive thinking. At the same time, recent surveys have indicated a negative relationship between constructive thinking and perceived stress. Also, CEST establishes the similarity between the cognitive-experiential system and religiosity and motivates scientific research in this field. However, the question “How am I religious” or which religious attitudes are resourceful or harmful in overcoming stressful situations remains open-ended. Exploring religiosity’s impact on coping in the Cognitive-experiential self-theory paradigm could enrich understanding of the adaptive and non-adaptive religious coping mechanisms.</p> Maria Ivanova Copyright (c) 2023 Psychological Research (in the Balkans) Tue, 24 Oct 2023 00:00:00 +0300 THE THEORIES OF INTERPERSONAL ACCEPTANCE IN DEVELOPING POSITIVE TEACHER-STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS <p>In recent years, Bulgaria has implemented significant changes in the educational system. Тhe volume and complexity of study material have been increased, along with changes related to law on inclusive education. All this has increased the demands on teachers and students, putting a strain on relationships in the classroom. The lack of time and the need to teach all the intended learning material push the importance of interpersonal relationships to the background in the learning process. Communication between teachers and students has become formal and informative, which is a prerequisite for students' demotivation and withdrawal from the learning process. This article provides theoretical guidance and discusses scientific research from the last six decades, emphasizing the critical role of interpersonal acceptance in educational process in building a positive and productive environment and developing personal potential. The need for research and reformulation of contemporary models of teacher-student relationships is highlighted.</p> Ivelina Stefanova Copyright (c) 2023 Psychological Research (in the Balkans) Tue, 24 Oct 2023 00:00:00 +0300 COVID-19 PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS ON TWO DISTINCT VULNERABLE GROUPS: A QUALITATIVE RESEARCH ON PARENTS WITH SMALL CHILDREN AND CHRONICALLY ILL PEOPLE IN BULGARIA <p>This article outlines the major psychological effects and responses that the COVID-19 pandemic evoked in two important, vulnerable groups within the Bulgarian society: parents with young children up to 12 years of age and people struggling with chronic illness(es). The experiences of 30 study participants, were captured via interviews, conducted between March 2020 - January 2022. They uncoover the psychological implications COVID-19 had on subjects and confirmed consistency with studies conducted in other countries around the globe. The main negative effects for the group of parents included 1/ stress, 2/ anxiety, and 3/ mood swings. The positive, on the other hand, involved 1/ improved and/or strengthened relationships, and 2/ mobilization of psychological resources. Similarly, the negative psychological effects for those, suffering from a chronic illness, were: 1/ increased levels of stress, 2/ heightened anxiety, and 3/ an acute sense of vulnerability, among others. The positive entailed 1/ elevated focus on personal sense of meaning and 2/ feelings of closeness with family members. The findings from an exploratory, qualitative study, using semi-structured, calendar interviews are shared, together with recommendations on future crisis management.</p> Valentina Dolmova, Polimira Miteva Copyright (c) 2023 Psychological Research (in the Balkans) Tue, 24 Oct 2023 00:00:00 +0300 YOUNG PEOPLE IN BULGARIA NARRATING ABOUT THEIR PAST AND FUTURE: LIFE PLANNING AND ITS RELATIONS WITH OTHER CONSTRUCTS <p>The pace of modern life places the topic of life planning among the most challenging issues of the social sciences. The article<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1"><strong>[1]</strong></a> summarizes findings from a qualitative study of young people (aged 18-35 years), focused on how they approach important decisions pertaining to different areas of life. Content analysis of 45 semi-structured calendar interviews outlines different models of planning in basic life trajectories such as choosing a place of residence (including migration plans), education and career development, decisions concerning intimate partnerships, parenting, and financial/material achievements. On the basis of the analysis, the authors propose a 24-item Dominant Model of Life Planning Inventory extracted from the actual narratives of respondents. Data from a pilot and a nationally representative survey of Bulgarians aged 18-35 years (N=1200) is reported.</p> <p>Structured Dominant Model relates to optimistic expectations and has a negative correlation to risk propensity. The findings provide new perspective on the way young people approach their future and important life decision, and have implications both for psychological theory and practice.</p> <p><a href="#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1">[1]</a> Studies are carried out under Project КП-06-Н35/4 “Psychological determinants of young people's attitudes to emigration and life planning in the context of demographic challenges in Bulgaria”, funded by the Bulgarian National Science Fund, Ministry of Education and Science, Bulgaria; implemented by IPHS-BAS.</p> Ilina Nacheva, Viktoriya Nedeva-Atanasova Copyright (c) 2023 Psychological Research (in the Balkans) Tue, 24 Oct 2023 00:00:00 +0300 AGGRESSIVENESS AND FACTORS FOR ITS MANIFESTATION AMONG GIRLS IN SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT IN THE CONTEXT OF SOCIAL-PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH (Theoretical overview) <p>Globally, various authors have found that the number of girls involved in serious aggressive acts is increasing and is beginning to form a significant social problem (e.g. Moretti et al., 2004; Orecchia, 2009; Dytham, 2018). The studies dedicated to aggression, violence and bullying at school in Bulgaria mainly examine gender and age differences between girls and boys, in a comparative plan, with regard to their aggressive manifestations. It is usually found that boys use mainly physical aggression, and girls use verbal and indirect aggression (e.g. Kalchev, 2005; Shumkova, 2010; Bakalova et al., 2021). It's often held that girls don't bully like boys do, or that their actions are on a smaller scale and "not that bad." (Dytham, 2018:2). However, often insurmountable conflicts arise among girls, which develop into pressure aimed at exclusion from the group, chronic aggressive acts, beatings, vandalism, destructive behavior, etc. Informal, hierarchical social groups are also formed in the school environment that are composed only of dominant girls - the so-called gender groups (Reay, 2010). They use manipulation, bullying, intimidation, and ridicule to control others and keep their positions and reputations unchallenged, helping them maintain the hierarchy, boundaries, and image of their own group.</p> <p>Among the considerable number of Bulgarian studies of aggression in school environment, no in-depth theoretical analysis or scientific research can be found that is based on the factors that give rise to interpersonal and/or intergroup aggression among girls. In this article, basic theoretical propositions are presented in this direction and a structured model of basic factors directly related to the manifestations of aggression among girls in school environment is derived.</p> Ekaterina Dimitrova Copyright (c) 2023 Psychological Research (in the Balkans) Tue, 24 Oct 2023 00:00:00 +0300 SEXUAL EDUCATION AND SEXUAL ACTIVITY OF STUDENTS BEFORE AND DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. A ROMANIAN-BULGARIAN QUALITATIVE COMPARATIVE STUDY <p>The purpose of the study was to identify changes occurring in the sexual activity of Bulgarian and Romanian students in relation to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to explore how respondents perceived sexual education they benefited from in the past. A self-reporting guideline was adapted right at beginning of the restrictions caused by the pandemic, in March 2020. The story of life guideline for a qualitative study was constructed as compressing 2 major categories of data: 7 items of socio-demographic information and 55 specific items on personal life, organized into age stages. Between May and December 2020 data were collected by e-mail from students between 19 and 25 years. As a first result of data collection, 102 stories were kept for deeper analyses, 50 from Romanian and 52 from Bulgarian BA and MA students, 64 girls and 38 boys. Small differences were found between Romanian and Bulgarian groups regarding the age of the first intercourse or the changes that appeared in sexual behavior in relation to the pandemic outbreak. More of the Bulgarian participants declared not having started a sexual life, and also more of the Bulgarian participants decided not to answer some of the sexuality items. The conclusions issued by the analyses of both groups showed the need for developing specific sexual education curricula, created and implemented by experts, starting with younger ages of pupils.</p> Cornelia Rada, Ergyul Tair, Mihaela Lingu, Sezgin Bekir Copyright (c) 2023 Psychological Research (in the Balkans) Tue, 24 Oct 2023 00:00:00 +0300 COUNSELING FRAMEWORK, SPECIFICALLY AIMED AT ALEXITHYMIA, AND TAILORED TO AFFECTIVE VALENCE: PRECISE ASSESSMENT AS A KEY <p>There are numerous studies regarding therapy for high alexithymia, however, they share two limitations: the interventions studied are usually not specifically targeting alexithymia and those mentioning the valence of the emotion are rare. This could be partially due to the lack of precise measurement and diagnostics procedure. This paper aims to fill this gap by focusing on diagnostics as a fundamental first step and building on it a counseling framework specifically aimed at alexithymia and tailored to the affective valence.</p> <p>This is the first research in Bulgaria that, through confirmatory factor analyses, studies two of the most widely used alexithymia self-reports – PAQ and TAS-20, comparing the psychometric properties of the Bulgarian translations and analyzing their applicability in terms of mental health and therapy.</p> <p>The sample (N=360) filled PAQ, TAS-20, anxiousness, anhedonia, depression, and life satisfaction scales. Data suggest that PAQ and TAS-20 are valid and reliable instruments. Both may have wide application in screening and research, but as far as clinical decision making, PAQ seems to posses better psychometric properties. Furthermore PAQ`s more differentiated assessment might be of higher contribution since it was found that affective valence is an independent predictor of anhedonia and depression. Life satisfaction was unrelated to PAQ and negatively correlated to TAS-20, suggesting that the widely accepted assumption that alexithymia is associated with lower life satisfaction might be due to measurement specifics.</p> <p>Based on literature review and empirical data from this paper, counseling framework specifically aimed at alexithymia and tailored to the affective valence is proposed.</p> Tanya Dimitrova Copyright (c) 2023 Psychological Research (in the Balkans) Tue, 24 Oct 2023 00:00:00 +0300 ADAPTATION OF A EMOTION REGULATION COMPETENCY INVENTORY <p>Paper presents data for the adaptation of the Perth Emotion Regulation Competency Inventory (PERCI) which show a good, relatively stable factor structure of the eight subscales and the three aggregate scales, as well as good reliability (Cronbach's Alpha&gt; 0, 70). The obtained results for the personal correlates of the experiential and behavioral components of emotional regulation are theoretically expected in the context of the views of Epstein (2014), Higgins (2012), Gross (2015b) and confirm the validity of the instrument:</p> <p>- positive relationship between individual differences in negative and positive emotional regulation;</p> <p>- difficulties in regulating negative emotions are associated with higher levels of stress;</p> <p>- the higher negative emotional reactivity is associated with more difficulties in regulating negative emotions, and the weaker positive emotional reactivity is associated with more difficulties in regulating positive emotions;</p> <p>- the preference for rational processing is associated with less difficulty in regulating emotions;</p> <p>- the more pronounced promotional or preventive focus is associated with fewer difficulties in positive, negative and general emotional regulation;</p> <p>- the stronger fear of negative evaluation as an individual difference is associated with more difficulties in emotional regulation.</p> <p>The lack of connection between the studied variables (regulatory focus, preference for rational or experiential processing of information and fear of negative evaluation) and the components of tolerance of negative and positive emotions presupposes additional research.</p> Georgi Karastoyanov, Antoaneta Hristova Copyright (c) 2023 Psychological Research (in the Balkans) Tue, 24 Oct 2023 00:00:00 +0300 REVIEW OF “CRISIS MANAGEMENT” E-LEARNING MODULE <p>The COVID-19 pandemic presented world leaders with an unprecedented set of challenges. All of a sudden, they were expected to promptly and effectively manage a crisis on both the local and global levels, while taking into consideration all its multi-faceted ramifications related to economics, physical and mental health, etc. This incident signaled the need for up-to-date easy-to-follow guidelines for dealing with similar emergencies in the future.</p> <p>The e-Learning module “Crisis Management”, developed and implemented by Ilina Nacheva, PhD and Ralitsa Doychinova, PhD, is a timely response to the need for better crisis management preparation. Developed as a part of project KP-06-DK2/5 (<a href=""></a>) “Socio-psychological Еffects of the Crisis caused by COVID-19: Perceived Stress and Dynamics of Experiences”, supported by the program “Funding of fundamental research projects on public challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic - 2020” of the Bulgarian National Science Fund, Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Bulgaria, the module constitutes part of Bulgaria’s national reaction to the pandemic through the public engagement of trained scholars.</p> <p>The pandemic was unprecedented in various ways and so is this e-module on crisis management. Combining classical and modern knowledge on the topic, and providing recent first-hand empirical evidence from its creators’ own work, the module places special emphasis on the psychological aspects of managing a crisis. In doing so, the module promises to equip future leaders and first responders to effectively handle the mental health considerations related to a crisis.</p> <p>The module is specially designed with its applied value in mind. The content, currently in Bulgarian, is targeted at the undergraduate and graduate levels of students in psychology, social sciences, and mental care. However, its engaging and easy-to-follow structure and language make the module suitable for various types of audiences that show interest in the topic. To further facilitate accessibility, the module has been made freely accessible on the project’s website (<a href=""></a>).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The module is organized in nine compact and straightforward segments—general information, key definitions and concepts, types of crises, crisis management, lessons from the COVID-19 crisis, COVID-19-related empirical evidence regarding three vulnerable groups, third-person perceptions in times of crisis, a model acknowledging the role of culture in crisis management, and a critical discussion on the objective versus subjective perception of a crisis. The content alternates between theoretical and empirical knowledge, and the different sections nicely complement and build upon each other. The module is asynchronous and interactive, allowing the participants to intuitively explore and easily navigate thought the content, advance at their own pace, return to previous pages, or skip through sections.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The content employs numerous high-quality visual aids which guide and hold the learners’ attention. Useful references are provided at the end of each section that allow motivated students to engage in further study.</p> <p>In my view the module is an excellent example of the education of the 21<sup>st</sup> century. Employing modern technology for distant learning, adapting content to current learning needs, and emphasizing the applied aspect of the subject matter, the e-Learning module “Crisis Management” is well-suited to educate and prepare future leaders for effectively handling the psychological aspects of crisis-type situations. I congratulate the module’s creators on accomplishing this work and I am excited to follow the module’s development in the future, possibly into a stand-alone program.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a></p> Elena Tsankova Copyright (c) 2023 Psychological Research (in the Balkans) Mon, 02 Oct 2023 00:00:00 +0300 DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND EASE OF MIGRATION PROCESS (A CASE-STUDY OF LITHUANIA) <p>International migration has been a significant trend in recent years. Digital transformation is regarded as a continuous process affecting virtually every area of life in societies worldwide. It has had a major impact on international migration, resulting in the emergence of a new era of interconnected migrants and digitalized migration processes. Digital transformation enables network building among migrants, making it possible to interact in a “digital space” from different geographic locations in real time. Also, through the use of digitalization, migrants can react to unexpected events such as socio-economic developments, natural disaster, climate change etc. by deciding to change the plan to migrate in terms of time and place. In this context, digital transformation has been defined as “the use of new digital technologies (social media, online information portals for migrants, job-search portals designed for migrant workers, governmental services in digital format)” to enable major migration improvements to enhance migrant workers’ experience or streamline the migration process. Taking inspiration from the new field of ICT and migration, this paper explores the migration process in Lithuania, and the role digital technologies has played to impact the ease of migration. It established a conceptual framework of digital transformation resources used by migrants during the migration process based on a literature review. Four main elements, located along two axes are included in the framework: the “host society-source society” and the “pre-migration phase-post-migration phase” axis. We conducted a survey and empirical assessment of survey results and concluded with some avenues for future research. Future work should increase the sample size for result validity.</p> Joshua Olusegun, Dmytro Mamaiev Adebayo Ahmed Olanrewaju Copyright (c) 2023 Psychological Research (in the Balkans) Wed, 28 Jun 2023 00:00:00 +0300