The article is devoted to the problem of understanding difficult life situations by adolescents with mental retardation: the theoretical aspects of the problem are analyzed, the experimental data obtained are presented and discussed. Understanding is considered as a complex analytical and synthetic process that undergoes changes in the course of its development, becomes more complicated with age, allowing deeper insight into the essence of the object being studied, revealing the essential aspects, connections and relationships of this object with the surrounding. The experimental study of the understanding of difficult life situations by adolescents with mental retardation presupposed the identification of both the specifics of understanding and the possibility of relying on life experience in the perception, understanding and comprehension of problematic life situations, attitudes to the problem situation, as well as the influence of personal characteristics of adolescents on the attitude to the problem, understanding and choosing a strategy for its solution. The results of the experimental study indicate significant shortcomings in the understanding of difficult life situations by adolescents with mental retardation, associated with fragmentation and incompleteness of perception of pictorial and verbal material, violation of analytical and synthetic activity, the dominance of negative experience in overcoming difficulties. Negative emotional reactions of adolescents to difficulties, low self-esteem and an increased level of anxiety can be considered additional factors complicating the process of understanding.
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