The article examines of stress impacts on combat participants’ perceptions of the future. The topic is important because of the fact that the participants of hostilities, returning to peaceful life, often have problems with physical rehabilitation, social and psychological adaptation. In order to provide effective psychological assistance, it is necessary to understand their expectations and perceptions of the future. The plans and prospects for an individual’s further life depend on his/her perceptions. Positive perceptions will motivate, encourage the individual to operate and implement the planned. Negative perceptions suppress and cause unstable emotional reactions, uncertainty, which in the future can become one of the factors of stress development.
The article analyzes psychological peculiarities of ideas about the future, the psychological concept of stress. Perceptions of the future are the result of an individual’s internal work and they are incomplete. An individual changes through the experience of life crises and their rethinking, under influences of his/her environment and emergence of other new formations. Accordingly, values, views and plans for the future can be changed, which in turn allows the individual to change his/her life path.
Under the conditions of war and uncertainty, construction of the future become more complicated. People’s environment and living conditions are changing, and new values are emerging. A return to peaceful life in turn can be accompanied by stress. Stress can cause changes of a psychosocial, affective, and cognitive nature.
The reliability and validity of the presented empirical study results was justified by a set of complementary methods and by their adequacy to the study purpose and objectives, sufficient representation of the sample, quantitative and qualitative analysis of significant amount of theoretical and empirical material.
The participants in hostilities are characterized by the main ideas and motivation for the future based on the following values and aspirations: desire for self-development and self-realization, social contacts, development of professional career and further training, desire to see a happy and protected family. At the same time, it is possible to trace the desire to leave the country, fear that the situation will not change or deteriorate, and disappointment if their efforts spent are in vain.
Statistically significant differences in perceptions of the future by participants in hostilities with different levels of stress have been identified. High stress levels correlate positively with negative perceptions. The defined meanings of life of the combatants, returned from the war zone, indicate their sufficiently adequate perception of the past, the future and the present, understanding of their forces and capabilities.
The main spheres of life in which the service members seek development and realization have been analyzed. A large part of the respondents has experienced the following: a sense of their own impotence, inability to change something, fear of being deceived, fear of continuation of the war and possible death of people.
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