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Toward a concept of psychosocial maturity

Abstract

Schools below the college level traditionally have been preoccupied with only one outcome of education: growth in measurable cognitive skills. While there is at present a growing recognition of the school's actual and potential role in promoting personal and social growth, a convincing model of nonacademic objectives is lacking, as is a tool for assessing children's progress toward nonacademic objectives. To this end, the authors construct a model of psychosocial maturity which specifies measurable attitudes and dispositions. The model of psychosocial maturity integrates sociological and psychological views of the person; that is, it takes into account the requirements of societies as well as the healthy development of individuals. The model outlines three general dimensions of maturity which are likely to be relevant in all societies. These are (1) the capacity to function adequately on one's own, (2) the capacity to interact adequately with others, and (3) the capacity to contribute to social cohesion. Nine attributes judged pertinent to these capacities in this society are then defined. The final sections of the paper discuss problems in the measurement of psychosocial maturity, describe the form of an instrument presently being devised, and suggest research uses of the instrument.

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Preparation of this paper was supported by funds from The National Institute of Education, Contract No. NE-C-00-3-0013.

Received his Ph.D. trom Radeliffe College. She is interested in multidisciplinary approaches to the study of personality development and directs a program of research on school, family, and peer influences on attitudinal development over the childhood and adolescent years.

Received his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University. Major interests and current research are in educational sociology, mathematical sociology, and social stratification.

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Greenberger, E., Sørensen, A.B. Toward a concept of psychosocial maturity. J Youth Adolescence 3, 329–358 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02214746

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02214746

Keywords

  • Potential Role
  • Health Psychology
  • General Dimension
  • School Psychology
  • Final Section