Međunarodna konferencija
- Psihologija u funkciji dobrobiti pojedinca i društva -


Chair: Biljana Stanković
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Despite its long and fertile tradition in psychology, qualitative research is still mostly at the margins of psychological academic endeavors, especially in the local context. The same goes for researching reproductive processes and gendered experiences, since there was a long history in psychology of focusing primarily on the topics that could be generalized to the whole population. This left the specific experiences of women and gender minorities either outside the scope of (serious) research in psychology or studied from an individualizing, reductionist and pathologizing perspective that takes the healthy adult male as a norm (as in the cases of e.g., PMS, postnatal depression or menopause). Therefore, the aim of the symposium is to introduce specificities and contributions of a qualitative approach to the research of reproductive experiences and processes (pregnancy, birth, infertility, assisted reproduction and surrogate motherhood) and transgender identity. Although undoubtedly psychological and individual, all these experiences are intrinsically shaped by the particularities of the social practices, collective representations and institutional discourses surrounding them. They are complex and multilayer and it is impossible to understand them unless we recognize the various aspects that constitute them – embodied, experiential, discursive, socio-material. Qualitative approach offers not only multiple ways to approach these phenomena in a processual, nuanced, and contextualized manner, but also brings ethical and political benefits through giving voice to marginalized or silenced individuals and communities and pointing to problematic social and institutional practices. The symposium contributions will try to showcase adequate ways to explore situated and complex reproductive and gendered experiences and processes through a pluralistic and contextualized qualitative approach.

Keywords: qualitative research; reproductive experiences; gender identity; pluralistic approach

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Chair: Jelena Opsenica Kostić
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš, Serbia

Infertility is defined as a medical phenomenon: “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse” (WHO-ICMART revised glossary). But infertility is more then that – it’s bio-psycho-social crisis. The impossibility to conceive and give birth to a child represents a life challenge, which is the greatest for the couple itself, but it’s  also experienced by persons close to infertile partners. Many years of research show that infertile couples are mentally healthy in general, although individual differences in emotional response do exist. Both partners feel sorrow and anger, and women often report shame, self-blame, sense of failure, and lack of fulfillment. Today it is known that emotional reactions can affect treatment success  – pregnancy rates and later mental health. During the infertility treatment in Serbia, as in many European countries, psychological counseling is not provided at clinic. If the couple recognizes that they need help, they will have to seek it and pay for it themselves. This symposium is aimed at presenting the challenges faced by infertile couples and aims to raise awareness of the need to introduce psychological counseling as an integral part of treatment (which is most often in vitro fertilization - IVF). Infertility will be presented through (un)fulfillment of developmental tasks of adulthood, qualitative and qualitative research, through social stigma that may be present, cultural specifics in psychological counseling with infertile couples and through psychoanalytic views on infertility.

Keywords: infertility; coping; stigma; cultural specifics; psychoanalytic views on infertility

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Chair: Gordana Đigić
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš, Serbia

This symposium is concerned with various aspects and experiences related to online education in pandemic conditions. It contents five presentations, each of them convinced to particular topic related to online education. First presentation highlights the development of e-instruction and e-teachers in Serbia and the need to redefine and differentiate concepts of distance education, e-learning and online learning. Trying to find the most appropriate way to keep educational process in pandemic conditions, many states organized online education, set in a various ways. The movement to online education was sudden and unprepared. The most vulnerable groups in such situation were the same categories of students who need additional educational support in regular circumstances as well. Next two papers present the experiences in special education at the secondary school level in Greece and a case study of a Roma student from Serbia. Last two presentations consider online teaching and distance learning at the university level. One of them presents the study conducted at the sample of university teachers from Serbia, aimed to analyze their perceptions of online / distance teaching and learning at their faculties during the pandemic. Finally, the last presentation will show the university students point of view on online teaching and distance learning, especially considering differences in students’ assessment of such kind of teaching between two academic years. All presentations offer some implications and emphasize some learned lessons that should be taken into account in future educational practice and research.

Keywords: e/online/distance education/instruction/learning; special education; students; teachers

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Chair: Miljana Spasić Šnele & Dušan Vlajić
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš

Examining different topics, clinical psychology tends to contribute to optimal quality of life of every person. The variety of topics provides the possibility of a more comprehensive and holistic view of the core of its interest - the individual. However, clinical psychology also takes into account social factors that influence a person's behavior and shape his/her attitudes towards numerous clinical phenomena. Therefore, through this symposium, we will try to identify factors that are important for better understanding of both individual and socially important issues by focusing on some aspects that fall under the auspices of clinical psychology. In the first paper focus will be on consumers of psychoactive substances, more precisely on examination of the role of time perspectives in their fear of death. Since behavior of a person is, inter alia, influenced by his/her attitudes towards different phenomenons, two following papers will tend to bring us closer to factors that are correlated with participants’ attitudes towards some sensitive topics. In the first of these two presentations authors will examine the role that ambivalent sexism and authoritarian worldview have in accepting of rape myths (She asked for it, He didn’t mean to, It wasn’t really rape, She lied). The aim of the following paper will be to better understand how mentalization and self-differentiation are correlated with attitudes towards the people with mental health problems. Understanding factors correlated with subjective well-being in young adulthood represents a significant aspect in order to sustain mental health. Having in mind that interpersonal relationships represent one of the most important domains in this developmental period, the aim of the last presentation is to examine the role of loneliness in interpersonal relationships and social anxiety on subjective well-being in students aged 18 to 39 years. In line with covered topics implications of obtained results are provided.

* This symposium was conducted as a part of the project Fifty Years of the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš - Retrospectives, Practical Implications and Vision for Future Generations of Psychologists and Social Workers, at the University of Niš, Faculty of Philosophy (No. 100/1-10-6-01)

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Chair: Silvia Ubillos Landa *, José Luis González Castro **
Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Health Science, Spain *
Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Education, Spain **

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global health problem characterized as any behavior within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological, or sexual harm. From a health perspective, intimate partner violence (IPV) should be understood as not only characterized by the episodes of physical violence but also by the emotional and psychological abuse that perpetrators use to maintain control over their partners. IPV is consistently associated with a broad range of negative health outcomes (i.e., depression, anxiety or risk of suicide) but also with positive changes, such as posttraumatic growth. Numerous studies have shown that women who have been physically abused by their partner consistently self-report their health and well-being as poor compared to women who have no experience of IPV. In addition, many women who experience intimate partner violence reporter experienced first abuses during an adolescent relationship. Therefore, the first aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of lifetime IPV victimization on respondents’ current mental health and well-being in adult and adolescent victims. Secondly, this study sought to determine the role of partner controlling behavior and power relations within dating relationships in the lifetime risk of aggression. We propose 4 studies, including 2 adult samples composed for victims of IPV and 2 samples composed for adolescents and young victims and aggressors. We also included qualitative and quantitative analysis and a cross-cultural study. Recommended responses for women with an experience of IPV are discussed.

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Chair: Maja Mišić
Burnaby Family Life, Canada

Adverse experiences during childhood, adolescence and various relationships can have far-reaching consequences. There are numerous examples of those and one of them is the experience of inflicted violence. During this symposium, the results of the research that involved women and their experience of the inflicted violence will be presented. Two papers explore the relation between victimization and different variables - parental rejecting attitude, acceptance of violence, social support, and myths about romantic love. One of the papers examines the women’ s acceptance of gender-based myths about violence. In the end, a case study on the experience of the violence inflicted by parents and of the sexual violence inflicted by peers, together with the far-reaching consequences they could have, will be analyzed. The aim of the symposium is to achieve better understanding of the inflicted violence phenomenon, as well as of the relation between victimization and different factors that can contribute to instigation and perpetuation of violent behavior. A special significance of this symposium is the opportunity it presents: to perceive the phenomenon of violence from the women’s perspective, regardless of their age or the history of violent behavior.

Keywords: violence; trauma; victimization; women

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Chair: Katarina Minčić & Milena Vujičić
Psychological Counseling Center for Students within Students’ Cultural Center Niš, Serbia

The aim of this symposium was to present certain psychological phenomena in the context of the crisis through the findings of extensive research. The main focus was on examining stress, stressful events, stress coping strategies, burnout syndrome. Stressful circumstances, whether positive or negative, affect the overall functioning of an individual, and long-term exposure to stress can have consequences and act to redefine common patterns of behavior. Some of the questions that the symposium will seek to answer are whether early patterns of attachment play a role in choosing a particular coping strategy, what is the relationship between the presence of stressful events in a person's life and how to deal with it, and whether the experience of meaning in life can be recognized. The modern way of life, and especially crisis situations such as the pandemic that has affected all of humanity, has made the younger generations also face increased levels of stress. Therefore, research of this type can be the basis for creating preventive measures so that the psychological effects of the crisis would not have a deeper impact on the life and development of the individual.

Keywords: stress; crisis; coping; life events; meaning of life