Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner


  • David BusseEmail author
  • Ilona S. Yim
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_32



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...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Social BehaviourUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and Social BehaviourUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA