Maladjustment is the result of insufficient responses to demands that may occur throughout the life span and result in impaired functioning, distress, and/or poor health. The term maladaptive refers to processes (e.g., specific behaviors, patterns of thought or emotion that yield negative outcomes) whereas maladjustment is the result or outcome of this process.
The terms maladjustment and maladaptive are used in a wide range of contexts, which may broadly be categorized as social, psychological, and biological. Social maladjustment refers to how a person develops and maintains interpersonal relationships, especially with peers. Maladaptive behaviors in this realm often emerge during childhood when individuals learn how to navigate their social world and solve interpersonal problems. During this period, children face changing school settings and social networks. Children who are not able to...
References and Readings
- Ladd, G. W., & Price, J. M. (1987). Predicting children’s social and school adjustment following the transition from preschool to kindergarten. Child Development, 58, 1168–1189.Google Scholar
- Siegler, I. C., Peterson, B. L., Barefoot, J. C., & Williams, R. B. (1992). Hostility during late adolescence predicts coronary risk factors at mid-life. American Journal of Epidemiology, 136, 145–154.Google Scholar