Views on Psychological Immunity in Russian Psychology

Keywords: psychological immunity, psycho-immunity, psychological well-being, psychological safety, consciousness, meaningfulness, security, adaptation, Russian studies


Introduction. Numerous multidisciplinary studies examine non-physical types of immunity in recent years. By analogy with physical immunity, psychological immunity provides the comprehensive protection of the human psyche in extreme stressful situations and also in everyday activities. Psychological immunity can potentially become the phenomenon that may combine disparate views of defense mechanisms of the human psyche. Therefore, it seems reasonable to introduce and develop this concept.

Theoretical Basis. The concept of psychological immunity was first introduced by A. Olah. He defined it as a mental phenomenon that brings together all the adaptive resources of an individual. Previous research has demonstrated that psychological immunity is a widely accepted concept with clear conceptual and theoretical grounds and practical tools for diagnosis, development, and correction. The development of the concept of psychological immunity aroused our interest in Russian researches in this field.

Results. Russian researchers agree that psychological immunity is a personality trait that contributes to the preservation of an individual’s adaptive state when exposed to adverse factors through the use of resources. These resources are not only psychological defenses and coping strategies, but also self-regulation, reflection, consciousness, meaningfulness, coherence, etc. Very few but diverse previous studies of psychological immunity have outlined its content-related, structural, and functional concept.

Discussion. Psychological immunity is a mental phenomenon that helps to maintain the state of psychological well-being and psychological safety. The functions of psychological immunity are identical to those of physical immunity and include monitoring the functional state, memorizing the impact, reducing the intensity of re-experiencing, maintaining the state of psychological well-being, and facilitating negative experience. Aversion (as a reaction to potentially unpleasant phenomena) and anxiety (as a reaction to potentially dangerous phenomena) are the mechanisms that trigger a psychoimmune response.


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Author Biographies

Galina V. Moskalenko, Saint Petersburg University of State Fire Service of Emercom of Russia

candidate of psychological sciences, senior psychologist of the department of psychological training and counseling of the department of psychological support of the educational process

Irina A. Zelinskaya, Saint Petersburg University of State Fire Service of Emercom of Russia, St. Petersburg

Senior Lecturer, Department of Retraining and Advanced Training of Specialists


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How to Cite
Moskalenko, G. V., & Zelinskaya, I. A. (2019). Views on Psychological Immunity in Russian Psychology. Russian Psychological Journal, 16(3), 33-44.
General psychology, psychology of personality, history of psychology