This theoretical research is aimed to define the concept of infantilism and its time-development. The authors analyzed different psychological, pedagogical and psychiatric age periodizations, both domestic and foreign. The characteristics of infantilism in the current context can be define taking into account the increasing of information flows intensity and socio-economic changes. This leads new characteristics to appear in non-relevant age periods. As a result the existent classifications become out-of-date very fast.
In this paper the authors try to define and operationalize the concept of infantilism theoretically. The methods used in paper are analysis and synthesis. The age and content criteria are analysed in the context of childhood and adulthood. The authors describe the traits which can be interpreted as adult infantile traits, the characteristics of adult infantilism in modern world, increasing of information flows and socio-economic changes.
Consequently the authors formulate the definition of infantilism. Infantilism is a definite personal organization which retains previous age period traits and the way of behaviour. This behaviour models and traits are relevant to the earlier age but not relevant for the current new age period. Some basic characteristics of infantilism are highlighted: immaturity of emotional and volitional sphere, dependency, inability to take on new social roles which imply a certain kind of responsibility.
Adult objective characteristics are economic and territorial independence from parents’ family as well as the development of new social roles such as employee, spouse, and parent. Two possible kinds of concept operationalization can take place: objective (presence or absence of objective criteria of adulthood in person’s real life) and subjective (self-report of the subjective sense of presence or absence of maturity psychological characteristics).
The main reason of understanding the population successfulness in professional and everyday life is to analyse its behavioral characteristics. Modern trends show the overrepresentation of infantile traits, or infantilism, in society. Infantilism is a very complicated concept, related to personal and social immaturity. The authors explore the correlation between infantile traits and results in literacy of the Russian Federation sample gained from PIAAC database.