Mood Disorders pp 173-203 | Cite as

Toward a Psychobiological Integration: Affective Illness as a Final Common Path to Adaptive Failure

  • Peter C. Whybrow
  • Hagop S. Akiskal
  • William T. McKinneyJr.
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


In the late 1930s the philanthropist William T. Grant provided the financial means to study a group of male university students through the normal life cycle.2 Many of these men are now in their early 60s. Initially individuals were included in the study because they appeared healthy, and although all have experienced challenge and disappointment, many have stayed so. Reviewing something of what has been learned through study of the lives of these men, George Vaillant has observed that the most striking feature has been their ability to adapt to changing circumstance. Psychological health, Vaillant concludes, is realistic adaptation, orchestrating life’s demands so that they fall within one’s ability to manage. Adapting with some degree of success, or at least struggling on reasonably equal terms with one’s environment, may be termed coping. Consistent coping brings mastery.


Affective Disorder Mood Disorder Character Trait Biogenic Amine Depressive Illness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter C. Whybrow
    • 1
  • Hagop S. Akiskal
    • 2
  • William T. McKinneyJr.
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.University of Tennessee College of Medicine and Baptist Memorial HospitalMemphisUSA
  3. 3.University of Wisconsin School of MedicineMadisonUSA

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