Study of the relationship between stress levels and psychological defenses and coping strategies among IT specialists and IT recruiters.
In my previous articles, topics such as an IT specialist and an IT recruiter were mentioned, so I decided to carry out professional work at the master's level in testing representatives of these professions, to investigate the relationship between stress levels and psychological defenses and coping - strategies used by IT specialists. and IT recruiters.
The sample size is 100 people (men) - 50 (IT specialists) and 50 (IT recruiters) aged 25 to 35 years (median age, M = 30).
Due to the world pandemic, face-to-face testing was not possible, therefore we had to carry on our study online.
The aim of the work was an empirical study of the problem of choosing psychological defenses and coping strategies depending on the level of stress by IT specialists and IT recruiters who work for various private companies.
Data processing was carried out using the computer program "SPSS 19" and MS Excel 2010.
The paper examines the possibilities of using the obtained data in the work of a practical psychologist in working with representatives of the IT-sphere for the purpose of psychological correction and expansion of the "repertoire" of mature and constructive coping strategies, taking into account the specifics of age, the presence of professional stress, etc.
I would not like to load dear readers with my mathematical calculations, so I present the research results in an accessible, even though psychological, language.
Stress is a model of a specific or non-specific response of the body to stimulus events that upset its balance or exceed its ability to cope with the situation.
Psychological defense is a picture of feelings, thoughts, or behavior that arises in response to a mental perception of danger, which allows a person to avoid the awareness of conflicts or anxiety that is caused by his ideas or wishes.
Psychological defenses: repression, regression, projection, introjection, rationalization, sublimation, compensation, reactive formation (hyper compensation), denial, substitution.
Coping strategies are action or process that is used in satisfying stressful, adverse situations or in changing the response from one situation to another.
Coping - strategies: confident independent actions, entering into social contact-search, social support, cautious actions, impulsive actions, avoidance of decision-making, indirect actions (manipulation), antisocial actions, aggressive actions.
1). The study of the phenomenological structure of stress experiences was carried out using the PSM-25 Lemur – Tessier – Fillion scale.
2). The study of the characteristic defense mechanisms of the personality was carried out using a modification of the Kellerman-Plutchik questionnaire methodology.
3). The study of the characteristic strategies of coping behavior (coping strategies) was carried out using the methodology of S. Hobfall's "Strategies for overcoming stressful situations" - SACS.
In the course of the conducted empirical research, it was revealed that the most pronounced psychological defenses, both in the group of IT specialists and in the group of IT recruiters, are: rationalization, displacement, projection.
The high severity of rationalization as a defense mechanism, manifested in the justification of thoughts, feelings, behavior that are actually unacceptable, is generally the most common mechanism of psychological defense. Rationalization helps to maintain self-esteem, avoid responsibility and guilt.
In turn, repression, as the second most pronounced defense mechanism in both groups, is a process of involuntary elimination of unacceptable thoughts, urges, or feelings into the unconscious.
The third most pronounced among psychological defenses in both groups is projection, which is a mechanism for referring thoughts, feelings, motives, and desires to another person or object, which the individual rejects at the conscious level.
The least pronounced psychological defense in both groups is - "reactive education", which manifests itself in the replacement of unacceptable impulses for awareness of enlarged, opposite tendencies.
In the course of the study, it was revealed that the most pronounced coping strategies among IT specialists are "impulsive actions", "indirect actions", "antisocial actions" and "aggressive actions". In turn, among IT recruiters, the most pronounced coping strategies are “seeking social support”, “cautious actions” and “making contact”.
Asocial actions are a form of behavior of an individual, group, or category of persons that contradicts the moral requirements, prescriptions, standards accepted in society and disorganizes the established order of interaction between social subjects.
Aggressive behavior is one of the forms of responding to various physically and mentally unfavorable life situations that cause stress, frustration, etc. states. Psychologically aggressive behavior is one of the main ways to solve problems associated with the preservation of individuality and identity, with the protection and growth of a sense of self-worth, self-esteem, the level of claims, as well as maintaining and strengthening control over the environment that is essential for the subject. Aggressive actions act as 1) a means of achieving a meaningful goal; 2) the method of psychological relaxation; 3) a way to satisfy the need for self-realization and self-affirmation.
In turn, the most pronounced coping strategies in the group of IT recruiters are characterized by the pronounced importance of support in relationships with people as a resource in overcoming stressful situations. So, coping strategies "entering into social contact" and "seeking social support" are adaptive options for coping behavior aimed at cooperation and communication with other people. The coping strategy of entering into social contact is expressed in the desire of the individual to build coalitions with other people.
In addition, the IT recruiters used the "cautious actions" strategy.
Cautious or prudent actions, as a coping strategy, are expressed in the desire to comply with directives (norms and prohibitions) established by the state, culture, community, etc. The use of this coping strategy implies careful thought and weighing the consequences of their actions and decisions.
It was found that the severity of coping strategies and their differences between IT specialists and IT recruiters with medium and high-stress levels are similar. So IT specialists more often use coping strategies "Indirect actions", "Asocial actions" and "Aggressive actions", while the tested groups of IT recruiters - "confident independent actions" (assertive action), "entering into social contact", "seeking social support”, “prudent action” and “decision avoidance”. In turn, with a low level of stress, the differences in the use of IT strategies by specialists and in the group of IT recruiters have a slightly different nature: for example, IT specialists with a low level of stress more often than representatives of IT recruiters use the strategies of "confident independent actions" (assertive actions) and "impulsive actions" ... I would like to note that such differences are not traced in the studied groups with medium and high levels of stress, which indicates the presence of changes in coping strategies and psychological defenses with increasing stress among IT specialists in comparison with the group of IT recruiters. In other words, we can conclude that with an increase in the level of stress, IT specialists tend to "turn on" other (additional) protection mechanisms. On the other hand, we can talk about feedback: the use of certain psychogenic defenses is less effective than others, which allows an increase in the level of psychological stress.
In the future, I will publish the main points from my work, as well as psychological recommendations for the purpose of psychological correction and expansion of the “repertoire” of mature and constructive coping strategies, taking into account the specifics of work and age.
Wait for the continuation….