Tetiana Dutkevich
Ivan Ohiienko National University in Kamianets-Podilskyi
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“Me-Others” psychological construct
communicative need
conflict behavioural style
behavioural strategy at conflicts

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The article considers the results of the theoretical & empirical study on links between the "Me-Others" construct and the peculiarities of students’ conflict behaviour. The study idea was based on the fact of dynamic combination between self-image and an image of "Others" in the student’s psyche. They both reflect and influence her/his interpersonal relations, including the conflict clashes. These images form a pair of closely related polar psychic phenomena, which act during interpersonal relationships like connected receptacles. Therefore we have named these images as the "Me-Others" construct.

The internal structure of such "Me-Others" construct can be revealed taking into account the ratio between of students’ communicative needs and their self-esteem. Communicative needs reflect a student’s focus on other people. The higher is his/her communicative need, the more dominant is the "Others" component in his/her "Me-Others" construct. Self-esteem shows the degree of a person’s concentration on her/his own Self, it. designates importance of the “Me” component.

 The Spearman rank correlation coefficient between the students' communicative needs and their self-esteem is equal to 0.48, i.e. there is a significant correlation. Taking into account that the diagnostic scale of students' communicative needs is direct, but the diagnostic scale of their self-esteem is negative we have made the conclusion about inverse correlation. The higher level of students’ communicative needs is, the lower level of their self-esteem is. The correlation between communicative needs and self-esteem for the gender subsamples is the same as that for the total sample.

The components of the "Me-Others" construct (students' communicative needs and their self-esteem) are dynamically interconnected. The growth of one of them correlates with the decrease of the other. Growth-lowering of communicative needs corresponds to lowering-growth of self-esteem.

 Three types of "Me-Others" construct structures are highlighted in the article. The first type is the structure where the “Others” component dominates. Such students have high communicative needs and low self-esteem. It takes 10% of the sample. The second one is the structure where the “Me” component dominates, i.e. such students have low communicative needs and high self-esteem (16,7%). The third one is the harmonious ratio of both components (average levels both of communicative needs and self-esteem). The third type takes 73.3% of the sample. The students with the “Me” dominated structure as a rule choose cooperation as a conflict management style. The avoidance style is typical at the representatives having the “Others” dominate structure and the style of compromise is typical for the students with the harmonious “Me-Others” structure. 

The peculiarities of the “Me-Others” construct structure influences significantly on the students’ choice of such behavioural styles at conflict as avoidance ("Me" is less important, self-esteem is low, communicative needs are high) and cooperation ("Others" are less important, self-esteem is high, communicative needs are low). Absence of significant correlations suggests that the “Me-Others” construct practically does not affect the students’ choice of competing, compromising and accommodating styles.

Students with high self-esteem are the most moderate, rational in choosing the behavioural styles at conflicts. The higher self-esteem is, the more often student uses dialogue strategy. Students with high communicative needs respond to a conflict mainly emotionally, which is determined   both by their fear of relationship breaking and their desire of affiliation, emotional positive attitudes, approval, encouragement, etc. Students with high communicative needs use, as a rule, the avoidance strategy. However the less often students choose a dialogue, the lower is their communicative need.

There are not statistically significant correlations between the “Me-Others” construct components and the struggle strategy, i.e. the self-esteem and communicative needs do not affect significantly the students’ use of competition in conflict situations.

The next study will be aimed at revealing of inner psychological factors influencing students’ choice of the competing, compromising, accommodating styles and struggle strategy as ways of interpersonal conflict management. Also, the obtained results can create the basis for the individualized programs of students’ behaviour optimization at conflicts, taking into account the peculiarities of their “Me-Others” construct structure.


PDF 25-43 (Українська)


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