Developmental Psychology and Psychology of Family

Guarantor

Doc. PhDr. Irena Sobotková, CSc.

Characteristic of research fields

In the long term we focus on research relating to various aspects of partnerships and family life: problems of relationships, processes, personal experiences and meanings, life satisfaction, family stress and coping, family resilience, family memory and substitute family care.

Research teams

Research into psychological aspects of foster care

Guarantor: doc. PhDr. Irena Sobotková, CSc.

Co-organisers: PhDr. Šárka Mošťková, PhDr. Veronika Šmahajová, Ph.D.

Abstract: These studies build on numerous studies on foster care carried out to date. One of the most extensive studies recently has been the research of adults who have grown in long-term foster care, published as a monograph (Sobotková, Očenášková, 2013). Although it is a narrow field of social and professional experience, foster care deserves more attention because it fundamentally affects the lives of many children and adult people. Our studies are focused on the psychological aspects of various forms of foster care (short-term foster care, early foster care, long-term foster care) and topics that have been little explored so far (such as kinship foster care, biological children in foster care). The aim of the research is to describe and evaluate the current foster care system, especially with regard to the satisfaction of the psychological needs of children. We cooperate with the Section for Substitute Family Care at the Czech-Moravian Psychological Society and with the organs of social and legal protection of children. Publication output: an edited monograph is planned.

Grant support: previously IGA FF_2012_003 and IRP_FF_2013 – the Institutional Development Programme for the support of publication activities at the Philosophical Faculty. It is planned again.

Family functioning and family resilience

Guarantor: doc. PhDr. Irena Sobotková, CSc.

Co-organisers: PhDr. Veronika Šmahajová, Ph.D.

Abstract: Our research in this area is aimed at family processes (such as family functionality, family resilience, and coping with family stress). The studies are carried out in various types of families and at different stages of family development (families of working parents with young children, families with more than four children, families with twins, religious families, families with adult children etc.) and in families experiencing increased demands and stress (chronic physical or mental illness, developmental disorder, disability). The main publication outputs are e.g. the monograph Children’s Autism in the Context of Family Resilience (Sládečková, Sobotková, 2014) and the chapter Family Resilience: Positive Psychology Approach to Healthy Family Functioning (Slezáčková, Sobotková, 2017), published in The Routledge International Handbook of Psychosocial Resilience.

Grant support: previously IGA FF_2010_029 and IGA FF_2013_021; the Institutional Development Programme for the support of publication activities at the Philosophical Faculty – IRP_FF_2014, IRP_FF_2015.

The research of womanhood and marriage

Guarantor: PhDr. Veronika Šmahajová, Ph.D. (Očenášková)

Co-organisers: doc. PhDr. Irena Sobotková, CSc.

Abstract: The aim of this research project is to survey the experience of womanhood and to describe the coping strategies of the female role both in personal life (partnership, parenthood) and in working life. A qualitative research design is applied to a basic population of university students. We are expecting the most important impact of the current social changes in the female role there. Besides that, we concentrate on the transformation of marriage and its importance, value, and function in time, on extramarital relationships, and on divorce from the perspective of adult children. Our further research interest is related to aspects which affect long-term marital satisfaction. The most important publication is the monograph about partner satisfaction of women in academic professions (Očenášková, 2015).

Grant support: the Institutional Development Programme for the support of publication activities at the Philosophical Faculty – IRP_FF_2015. It is planned again.

Family memory and intergenerational transmission of identities

Guarantor: doc. Mgr. Radmila Švaříčková Slabáková Ph.D. (Department of History)

Co-organisers: doc. PhDr. Irena Sobotková, CSc. (and doc. Mgr. Marek Petrů, Ph.D., Mgr. Jitka Kohoutová, doc. PaedDr. Alena Zachová, CSc., dr. hab. Marcin Lukasz Filipowicz, Dr. from other workplaces).

Abstract: The interdisciplinary research project was focused on family memory. This area was previously unexplored in psychology. The main aim of the psychological part of research was to describe the content, functions and meaning of family memory. The ways in which family memory is modified and transmitted to next generations were explored too. Our particular interest was given to possible connections between family memory, functionality of the family and family resilience. We used the qualitative methodology. The data collection was conducted through deep, semi-structured interviews with three generations of thirteen families. The project is innovative not only in its topic, but also in its interdisciplinarity (psychology of family, history, literary theory, cognitive philosophy). Currently, we are finalizing the main publication outputs (two monographs).

Grant support: The Czech Science Foundation 2015-2017

Grandparents as caregivers in the context of foster care

Guarantor: PhDr. Šárka Mošťková (PhD student)

Co-organisers: doc. PhDr. Irena Sobotková, CSc.

Abstract: The main aim of this research project is to understand the experience of grandparents who take care of their grandchildren in the place of their parents. Partial goals are concern the study of the subjective perceptions of the causes of foster care, their family circumstances, the conflict of their dual role, their relationships with their grandchildren and difficulties with their upbringing, grandparents’ life satisfaction, important values and goals in their lives, and the ways in which they cope with stress and resilience. The research group includes 20 grandmothers and grandfathers who have cared for one or more grandchildren for at least two years. Methods: semi-structured interview, SEIQoL, F-COPES. Partial research results show that children are given to foster care of their grandparents for various reasons, which we have organized into three categories: the pathological way of life of biological parents, the personality characteristics of parents and the impact of life events. Further data analysis continues. Due to the growing number of foster grandparents, the results can be useful especially in psychological counseling and for professionals working with foster families.

Grant support: IGA_FF_2015_022

Experiencing involuntary childlessmess and its connection with results of treatment

Guarantor: PhDr. et Mgr. Gabriela Ďurašková (PhD student)

Co-organisers: doc. PhDr. Irena Sobotková, CSc.

Abstract: Infertility is a life-changing experience for most couples and often carries unexpected stressors. Experiencing involuntary childlessness in our country is explored primarily by using a qualitative methodology. Therefore, we find it beneficial to employ studies using appropriate quantitative tools (for example, the Fertility Problem Inventory) which are often used worldwide. Our research project combines both quantitative and qualitative methods. It focuses on stress, coping, the meaning of life, and life changes in the context of a challenging situation (infertility). The results will be useful for psychologists, gynaecologists, fertility centre staff, etc.

The process of forgiveness in women with the experience of domestic violence

Guarantor: Mgr. Erika Lipková (PhD student)

Co-organisator: doc. PhDr. Irena Sobotková, CSc.

Abstract: The concept of forgiveness is currently a subject of increased interest in psychology, but there is still no consensus on defining this concept. The research project focuses on linking two areas – the process of forgiveness and domestic violence against women. The main aim of the research is to answer the question of how woman, victims of domestic violence, feel forgiveness and what experience they have with it. The intention is to gain a deeper and, if possible, comprehensive insight into this unexplored issue. A qualitative approach to research will be used (deep semi-structured interviews for data collection, interpretative phenomenological analysis following).

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