OPTIMIZING THE BEHAVIOR OF THE EMERGING ADULT BY DECREASING OF MALADAPTIVE MENTAL SCHEMAS
Keywords:emerging adults, NEET, cognitive schemas, autonomy, self-efficacy
The article presents the research results on the effects of a program for optimizing emerging adults’ behavior in Romania. Behavior optimization was achieved by improving maladaptive mental schemas through group cognitive-behavioral interventions. The research was conducted in two stages. The research's initial stage consisted of an investigation of a group of 212 young people (19-30 years old) belonging to the NEET category (Not in Education, Employment, or Training). The psychological tools assessed the personality, the level of manifestation of cognitive and emotional maladaptive schemas, Personal Autonomy, and Self Efficacy. The second stage of the research involved 48 NEET young people who participated in a personal development program to optimize behavior for a period of 18 months. Participants experienced improvements in dysfunctional mental schemas, reported increases in personal autonomy and flexibility, and adaptive changes in personality structure. This research is a first in Romania and joins the efforts to improve the psycho-social condition of young NEETs in Romania (currently at 16.8%).
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