Maladjustment is... Social maladjustment. Problems of maladjustment

A person who violates generally accepted rules (morals, behavior in society, regulations in various institutions and even laws) is perceived by society as a problematic person. Most believe that this is dictated by a lack of upbringing or pathologies of mental development. However, this attitude is most often erroneous, because the essence of “rebellion” lies in inability to adapt to certain conditions of existence. In psychology there is a name for this phenomenon - maladjustment. It requires lengthy and complex correction, which is impossible without a specialist.


Disadaptation is a mental state of a person (more often a child than an adult), in which the psychosocial status of the individual does not correspond to the new social situation, which complicates or completely eliminates the possibility of adaptation.

There are three types:

  • Pathogenic maladjustment is a condition that occurs as a result of disruption of the human psyche, with neuropsychic diseases and deviations. Such maladaptation is treated depending on the possibility of curing the disease-cause.
  • Psychosocial maladaptation is the inability to adapt to a new environment due to individual social characteristics, gender and age changes, and personality development. This type of maladjustment is usually temporary, but in some cases the problem can worsen, and then psychosocial maladaptation develops into pathogenic one.
  • Social maladaptation is a phenomenon characterized by antisocial behavior and disruption of the socialization process. It also includes educational maladjustment. The boundaries between social and psychosocial maladjustment are very blurred and lie in the peculiarities of the manifestation of each of them.

Elimination methods

To solve problems with adaptation, 3 approaches are used:

  1. Medical - maladaptation develops on the basis of neuropsychic disorders. It must be treated with medication.
  2. Socio-psychological - the cause of maladaptation lies in the inability of the individual to accept the rules of society. Psychotherapy can help a person.
  3. Ontogenetic - considers maladaptation as a mechanism that is triggered at a crisis moment in a person’s life. The individual can cope with it on his own when he returns to a favorable environment.

It is better to determine which method is suitable in a particular case with the help of a psychotherapist and psychiatrist. The joint work of specialists guarantees the correct diagnosis and choice of treatment type.

Disadaptation of schoolchildren as a type of social inability to adapt to the environment

Dwelling on social maladjustment, it is worth mentioning that this problem is especially acute in the early school years. In this regard, another term appears, such as “school maladjustment.” This is a situation in which a child, for various reasons, becomes incapable of both building “personal-society” relationships and learning in general.

Psychologists interpret this situation differently: as a subtype of social maladaptation or as an independent phenomenon in which social maladjustment is only the cause of school maladjustment. However, excluding this relationship, we can identify three more main reasons why a child will feel uncomfortable in an educational institution:

  • insufficient preschool preparation;
  • lack of behavioral control skills in the child;
  • inability to adapt to the pace of learning at school.

All three of them boil down to the fact that school maladaptation is a common phenomenon among first-graders, but sometimes it also manifests itself in older children, for example, in adolescence due to personality restructuring or simply when moving to a new educational institution. In this case, maladjustment develops from social into psychosocial.


Psychologists and psychotherapists can recognize signs of maladaptation by a person’s characteristic behavior and related indicators of his mental and physical health. If in children all this is diagnosed quickly enough, then with adults, especially if they mask their dissatisfaction, sometimes you have to work for a long time. First, a conversation is held with a specialized specialist, and if necessary, a medical examination is prescribed. But psychological tests are becoming the main diagnostic tool.

  • Luscher

It is possible to identify a state of maladjustment according to Luscher. His mixed and achromatic color tables determine the degree and style of deviation. For example, yellow in a certain position indicates rejection of one’s profession, and purple indicates a woman’s rebellion against her own pregnancy.

  • Leary

Another famous questionnaire, Leary’s, helps determine the degree of maladjustment. Its goal is to identify the difference between “I am real” and “I am ideal.” The deeper it is, the more advanced the form of pathology. The condition is characterized from the point of view of such key personal formations as deceit, acceptance/non-acceptance of oneself/others, emotional comfort/discomfort, internal/external control, dominance, control and escapism.

  • Personality factors

Another questionnaire characterizing several personality types, among which there are those who are prone to rejecting social norms and attitudes. For example, the personality type “k+” is characterized by a social form of rejection, “d+” is characterized by maladaptation of the depressive type, and “d-” is characterized by the cyclothymic type. Their descriptions are given in the answers to the test.

Psychosocial maladjustment is a problem of the Internet generation

Let us consider school maladjustment from the point of view of the school age period, and not the educational period in principle. This maladjustment manifests itself in the form of conflicts with peers and teachers, and sometimes immoral behavior that violates the rules of conduct in an educational institution or in society as a whole.

A little more than half a century ago, among the reasons causing this type of maladjustment, there was no such thing as the Internet. Now he is the main reason.

Hikkikomori (hikki, hikkovat, from Japanese “to break away, to be imprisoned”) is a modern term to describe social adjustment disorder in young people. Interpreted as complete avoidance of any contact with society.

In Japan, the definition of "hikkikomori" is a disease, but at the same time, in social circles it can even be used as an insult. Briefly, we can say that being a “hikka” is bad. But this is how things are in the East. In the countries of the post-Soviet space (including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, etc.), with the spread of the phenomenon of social networks, the image of hikkikomori was elevated to a cult. This also includes the popularization of imaginary misanthropy and/or nihilism.

This has led to an increase in the level of psychosocial maladjustment among adolescents. The Internet generation, going through puberty, taking “Hickness” as an example and imitating it, risks actually undermining mental health and beginning to exhibit pathogenic maladjustment. This is the essence of the problem of open access to information. The task of parents is to teach their child from an early age to filter the knowledge they receive and separate the useful from the harmful in order to prevent unnecessary influence from the latter.

Factors of psychosocial maladjustment

Although the Internet factor is considered the basis of psychosocial maladjustment in the modern world, it is not the only one.

Other reasons for maladjustment:

  • Emotional disorders in adolescent schoolchildren. This is a personal problem that manifests itself in aggressive behavior, or, conversely, in depression, lethargy and apathy. This situation can be briefly described by the expression “from one extreme to another.”
  • Violation of emotional self-regulation. This means that a teenager is often unable to control himself, which leads to numerous conflicts and clashes. The next step after this is the maladaptation of adolescents.
  • Lack of mutual understanding in the family. Constant tension in the family circle does not have the best effect on a teenager, and besides the fact that this reason causes the two previous ones, family conflicts are not the best example for a child of how to behave in society.

The last factor touches on the age-old problem of “fathers and children”; this once again proves that parents are responsible for preventing problems of social and psychosocial adaptation.

Condition correction

As mentioned earlier, the state of maladjustment is not permanent and can be overcome. To do this, it is necessary to work through internal fears and anxieties. Both children and adults with this problem can and should contact psychologists.

An effective method in combating the fear of communication is to overcome yourself and force yourself to communicate. This will help you cope with your fear of people. You should also develop optimistic, positive thinking, which will facilitate the establishment of new connections and contacts.

Children and adolescents, due to their age, are not able to overcome this condition on their own, therefore they need the support and help of their parents, who, if necessary, can always get specific advice from a psychologist.

The concept of “maladaptation” in psychology means the inability of an individual to adequately and painlessly contact the outside world.

Nowadays, the problem of maladjustment in children and adolescents sometimes arises very acutely, which is associated not only with difficulties in building communication that arose earlier, but also with the negative side of the development of progress, when children from an early age have the opportunity to immerse themselves in virtual reality.

This contributes to even greater detachment and consolidation of antisocial behavior, when a child who has not received timely psychological help in adulthood turns out to be unable to solve emerging problems and prefers an isolated lifestyle.

Classification. Subtypes of psychosocial maladjustment

Depending on the causes and factors, the following classification of psychosocial maladjustment can be roughly drawn up:

  • Social and household. A person may not be satisfied with the new living conditions.
  • Legal. A person is not satisfied with his place in the social hierarchy and/or in society in general.
  • Situational role-playing. Short-term maladjustment associated with an inappropriate social role in a certain situation.
  • Sociocultural. Inability to accept the mentality and culture of the surrounding society. It often appears when moving to another city/country.

Characteristic manifestations

Aggression is a possible manifestation of social maladaptation

I bring to your attention the signs that characterize this condition.

  1. Aggression. It manifests itself for the reason that a person, without normal communication, loses this skill. The individual no longer strives to be understood; it is much easier for him to get what he wants using manipulation. This manifestation poses a danger both to the person himself and to his environment.
  2. Withdrawal into oneself. Closedness appears, the person stops counting on the help of others. It’s easier to do everything yourself, there are no relationships with other people, the person doesn’t make new acquaintances.
  3. Social phobia. Over time, an individual stops building social connections; he no longer has close people who would be interested in his internal state. Fear of new acquaintances appears due to the need to change something in one’s attitude towards the reality around him.
  4. Reluctance to comply with the requirements accepted in society.

Socio-psychological maladaptation, or inability in personal relationships

Disadaptation in a couple is a very interesting and little-studied concept. Little studied in the sense of just classification, since problems of maladjustment often worry parents in relation to their children and are almost always ignored in relation to themselves.

Nevertheless, although rarely, this situation can arise, because personality maladjustment is responsible for this - a generalized term for disorders of adjustment, which is perfectly suitable for use here.

Disharmony in a couple is one of the reasons for separations and divorces. This includes incompatibility of characters and outlooks on life, lack of mutual feelings, respect and understanding. As a result, conflicts, selfish attitudes, cruelty, and rudeness appear. Relationships become “sick,” especially if, due to habit, neither of the couple is going to back down.

Psychologists have also noticed that in large families such maladjustment rarely occurs, but its cases become more frequent if the couple lives with their parents or other relatives.

Danger of violation

At first glance, it may seem that maladaptation does not pose a serious threat and, if desired, the child can be forced to adequately respond to some situations and problems.

However, this is not quite true. When parents and teachers do not see a child’s maladjustment as a serious problem and do not try to correct his behavior, then such inflexible behavior is reinforced at the psychophysical level.

As a result, the child becomes firmly entrenched in certain psychological habits that are difficult to correct, even if worked through with a psychologist. Often, parents and teachers do not see the problem with maladjustment in the child and attribute behavioral characteristics to character.

On the other hand, calculating maladaptation at some initial phase is not easy, since it does not appear immediately, therefore another danger of this condition lies in the difficulty of recognizing this behavioral deviation. Most often, it becomes obvious that a person is completely maladjusted only when he finds himself in a difficult situation and turns out to be completely unadapted to it.

Pathogenic maladjustment: when a disease interferes with adaptation in society

This type, as mentioned above, occurs with nervous and mental disorders. The manifestation of maladjustment due to illness sometimes becomes chronic, amenable to only temporary relief.

For example, mental retardation is distinguished by the absence of psychopathic tendencies and dispositions to crime, but the mental retardation of such a patient undoubtedly interferes with his social adjustment. That is why this category of children has been included in a separate program by psychologists, according to which the prevention of maladjustment should be carried out:

  • Diagnosis of the disease before its complete progression.
  • Matching the curriculum to the child's capabilities.
  • The focus of the program on work activity is to bring work skills to automatism.
  • Social and everyday education.
  • Pedagogical organization of the system of collective connections and relationships of oligophrenic children in the process of any of their activities.

Problems of raising “inconvenient” students

Among exceptional children, gifted children also occupy a special level. The problem in raising such children is that talent and a sharp mind are not a disease, so they do not look for a special approach to them. Often, teachers only aggravate the situation, provoking conflicts in the team and aggravating the relationship between the “smart kids” and their peers.

Prevention of maladaptation of children who are ahead of others in intellectual and spiritual development lies in proper family and school education, aimed not only at developing existing abilities, but also such character traits as ethics, politeness and humanity. It is they, or rather their absence, that is responsible for the possible “arrogance” and selfishness of little “geniuses”.

Individual adaptation potential

Psychologists proceed from the fact that each person has a certain adaptive potential, which can decrease due to various negative impacts:

  • pedagogical neglect;
  • conflicts;
  • difficult intra-family microclimate.

Such potential is a set of qualities and character traits of a person that help a person to successfully integrate into the society of other people. The positive point is that maladaptation in most cases can be corrected and, if desired, adaptive potential can be restored.

However, adaptability does not remain constant and unchanged throughout a person’s life. For example, children adapt less well to changing conditions and when moving to a new team, their personal characteristics in such a situation undergo some transformations.

To prevent the development of a state of maladjustment in a person (especially in children), it is necessary to create conditions for the harmonious development of the individual.

Adjustment and maladaptation of hysteroid

Maladjustment in psychology is a reaction to a stressful communication situation. In order to help a person more easily adapt to a new situation and environment, you should focus on his personality type. The hysteroid is characterized by such character traits as endless egocentrism, the desire to be in the center of events and attention, and exaggeration of one’s own importance.

Among all the psychotypes, the hysteroid is the easiest to win over . For such people, flattery and admiration are important, then they will be favorably disposed towards their interlocutor. During the conversation, you can be interested in their life, health and affairs, which will allow you to get closer to them.

Most children and teenagers, to one degree or another, have the traits of a hysteroid, since up to a certain age they are extremely self-centered, so winning over a child is actually not so difficult.

A hysterical deprived of attention, on the contrary, experiences severe mental discomfort, since his nature requires recognition and admiration. Also, people of this type do not cope well with uncertainty and long waits. This causes them distress and loss of balance.

Adjustment and maladaptation of the epileptoid

The distinctive features of an epileptoid are diligence, frugality, punctuality, and reliability. Among the negative traits of this type of personality are the inability to sympathize with other people, irritability when order is disturbed, and the desire to subjugate oneself.

Such people get lost in situations when:

  • someone does not fulfill their promise;
  • confusion and chaos is happening around him;
  • during the conversation they talk about abstract topics (philosophy, religion) or events in the distant future;
  • question his life attitudes and principles.

For epileptoids, information must be presented in a clear, specific and concise form, while avoiding gesticulation and excessive emotionality. In order to win over such a person, you can use the “mirror” technique and unobtrusively repeat his gestures and poses.

Adjustment and maladaptation of the paranoid

Typically, the traits of this psychotype begin to appear not in childhood, but in late adolescence. Such guys are distinguished by their focus on their goal, they can be extremely serious and preoccupied and are eager to achieve what they want at any cost.

The main character traits of paranoiacs are excessive assertiveness and determination. At the same time, the negative aspects of such a personality are irritability, anger, and a tendency toward authoritarianism.

In order to win over such a person, it is necessary to share with her the goals towards which she so stubbornly strives. At the same time, you should not use overt flattery - unlike a hysteroid, a paranoid person regards such deflections as a way to get something from him.

This type is least susceptible to maladjustment, as it has a strong nervous system. It is paranoiacs who become excellent intelligence officers, pilots and special agents.

Only a clear and reasoned demonstration of the unattainability of a goal that has been nurtured for years can cause distress in them.

Schizoid adjustment and decompensation

Schizoids are distinguished from other types by original and specific views on familiar things. In order to win him over, you should be imbued with these ideas.

It is very easy to maladapt such people - just create chaos around them. Moreover, if for an epileptoid chaos is a violation of the usual way of life, then a schizoid is easily enraged by overloading his sensory organs. For him, situations in which he is forced to perceive a large amount of information are unbearable.

He may get tired both from communicating with a large number of people, and from an external inanimate irritant - a grass trimmer whirring all day long, loud music, the work of a bulldozer.

Also, such people cannot stand criticism, especially in a sharply negative way, and when they find themselves in such situations, they withdraw into themselves. The use of gross psychological violence against a schizoid with ridicule and humiliation can entail a serious reaction - it is precisely this type of people who can most often take up arms and take revenge on the offender.

The manifestation of such aggression can often be seen in the behavior of adolescents when they resolve unresolved conflicts radically (shooting, stabbing), which leads to sad and irreparable consequences.

Adjustment and maladaptation of hyperthymia

Hyperthyms are the most attractive people. By nature, they are fun-loving people and cannot stand anything associated with monotony and routine. As a child, it is difficult for such a child to concentrate on tasks that require long-term concentration and scrupulousness.

The state of distress or maladjustment in hyperthymics causes deprivation of his communication, which he vitally needs, as well as the satisfaction of basic needs for food, drink and sleep. In order to relieve stress, hyperthymic people more often than others resort to artificial stimulants - alcohol and drugs.

Unlike a schizoid who withdraws into himself, a hypertim in a state of maladaptation will actively turn to others for help, behaving like a child. In order to overcome stress, it is important for him to restore communication and see a positive feedback reaction from other people.

Adjustment and decompensation of the emotive

Emotives are distinguished by their softness, non-conflict and excessive emotionality. They are highly intelligent and ethics and aesthetics in communication are important to them - it should be polite, cultural and cordial. Decompensation of emotive people can be caused by rudeness and rudeness, as well as topics of conversation that they consider base.

Also, people of this type do not tolerate both physical and psychological stress. A large amount of work that needs to be completed in a short period of time can cause a maladaptive reaction in them and lead them to a nervous breakdown.

Adjustment and disadaptation of asthenics

Asthenic children from an early age are characterized by restless sleep and poor appetite. They cannot stand loud sounds, bright lighting, and are prone to solitude, because even a small number of people around them take away their energy. Because of this, they quickly become tired and tired, and are often irritable. At the same time, asthenics are forgiving, disciplined, modest, friendly and efficient.

In order to win over an asthenic person, you should show him affection and demonstrate understanding. Such individuals become maladapted under unstable life circumstances.

Work associated with changing places or a large flow of people passing through an asthenic person can unsettle him for a long time, which is why most often they work for a long time at the same workplace for many years.

Children of asthenics do not adapt well to a new team; from an early age they avoid noisy entertainment. Such a child is comfortable in a stable environment, among close and well-known people.

Autism. Maladaptation of autistic children

Autism is a disorder of social development, which is characterized by the desire to withdraw “into oneself” from the world. This disease has no beginning or end, it is a life sentence. Patients with autism can have both developed intellectual abilities and, conversely, a low degree of developmental retardation. An early sign of autism is a child’s inability to accept and understand other people and to “read” information from them. A characteristic symptom is avoidance of eye to eye contact.

In order to help an autistic child adapt to the world, parents need to be patient and tolerant, because they will often have to deal with misunderstanding and aggression from the outside world. It is important to understand that it is even harder for their little son/daughter, and he/she needs help and care.

Scientists suggest that social maladaptation of autistic children occurs due to disruptions in the left hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for the emotional perception of the individual.

There are basic rules on how to establish communication with a child with autism:

  • Don't make high demands.
  • Accept him as he is. In any circumstances.
  • Be patient while teaching it. It is futile to expect quick results; you need to rejoice in small victories as well.
  • Do not judge or blame the child for his illness. Actually, no one is to blame.
  • Set a good example for your child. Lacking communication skills, he will try to repeat after his parents, and therefore you should carefully choose your social circle.
  • Accept that you will have to sacrifice something.
  • Do not hide the child from society, but do not torment him with it either.
  • Devote more time to his upbringing and personality development, rather than intellectual training. Although, of course, both sides are important.
  • Love him no matter what.


In children, maladaptive behavior is noticeable to the naked eye, even to a non-specialist. Parents, teachers, school psychologists, and peers see this. In adults it may be more veiled. For example, if a person does not want to lose his job and does not have mental disabilities, he can hide his dissatisfaction, although this can still be seen by some external manifestations (disrespect for colleagues and boss, systematic tardiness, frequent sick leave, depression). Psychologists call the most striking signs of maladjustment:

  • irritability, which extends not only to others, but also to one’s own behavior;
  • aggression;
  • negative thinking (bad thoughts prevail over good ones);
  • withdrawal into oneself: lack of new acquaintances, breakup of old relationships, loss of connections with friends and family, replacement of the real world with an illusory one;
  • concentration on oneself, complete immersion in one’s own experiences, emptiness;
  • partial or complete violation of moral and legal norms, rules in force in the conditions in which he finds himself;
  • an attempt to adapt the environment to oneself, but not oneself to new conditions;
  • maladjusted children (especially teenagers) are characterized by pronounced antisocial, deviant behavior;
  • deterioration of mental state: depression, nervousness, inadequate assessment of oneself and what is happening, panic attacks, anxiety;
  • deterioration of physical health: pressure surges, increased heart rate, increased sweating and other vegetative-vascular symptom complexes.

The most critical manifestation of maladjustment, according to psychologists, is social phobia, which, if uncorrected, can lead to suicide and, in childhood, autism.

Inability to adapt to society due to nervous and mental personality disorders

Among the most common personality disorders, one of the symptoms of which is maladaptation, are the following:

  • OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). It is described as an obsession, sometimes contradicting even the moral principles of the patient and therefore interfering with the growth of his personality and, consequently, socialization. Patients with OCD are prone to excessive cleanliness and systematization. In advanced cases, the patient is able to “cleanse” his body to the bone. Psychiatrists treat OCD; there are no psychological indications for it.
  • Schizophrenia. Another personality disorder in which the patient is unable to control himself, which leads to his inability to interact normally in society.
  • Bipolar personality disorder. Previously associated with manic-depressive psychosis. A person with BPD occasionally experiences either anxiety mixed with depression, or agitation and increased energy, as a result of which he exhibits exalted behavior. This also prevents him from adapting to society.

What is desocialization

Desocialization or social disadaptation is the complete or partial inability of a person to adapt to the environmental conditions and society existing around him.

The adaptation mechanism is one of the most important conditions for the successful existence of a person; thanks to it, from childhood he learns to observe certain norms, communicate in accordance with the rules existing in a particular society and behave according to emerging situations. Violation of this adaptation mechanism leads to a “breakdown” or absence of established connections between the individual and society; the person “does not fit” into the existing framework and cannot fully interact with others.

The causes of social maladjustment may be different; only some people suffering from such a disorder have various psychopathologies; for the rest, this condition occurs as a result of improper upbringing, stress or deprivation.

Deviant and delinquent behavior as one of the forms of manifestation of maladjustment

Deviant behavior is behavior that deviates from the norm, is contrary to the norms, or completely denies them. The manifestation of deviant behavior in psychology is called an “action.”

The action is aimed at:

  • Testing your own strengths, abilities, skills and abilities.
  • Testing methods to achieve certain goals. Thus, aggression, with the help of which one can achieve the desired, will be repeated again and again if the result is successful. Also a striking example are whims, tears and hysterics.

Deviation does not always imply bad actions. The positive phenomenon of deviation is the manifestation of oneself in a creative way, the revelation of one’s character.

Disadaptation is characterized by negative deviation. This includes bad habits, unacceptable actions or inaction, lies, rudeness, etc.

The next stage of deviation is delinquent behavior.

Delinquent behavior is a protest, a conscious choice of a path against a system of established norms. It is aimed at the destruction and complete destruction of established traditions and rules.

Acts associated with delinquent behavior are often very cruel, antisocial, even criminal offenses.

Professional adaptation and maladjustment

Finally, it is important to consider disadaptation in adulthood, associated with the clash of the individual with the collective, and not with a specific incompatible character.

For the most part, professional stress is responsible for disruption of adaptation in the work team.

In turn, stress can be caused by the following:

  • Unacceptable working hours. Even paid after-hours hours are not able to restore a person to the health of his nervous system.
  • Competition. Healthy competition gives motivation, unhealthy competition damages this very health, causes aggression, depression, insomnia, and reduces work efficiency.
  • Very fast promotion. No matter how pleasant a promotion is to a person, a constant change of environment, social role, and responsibilities rarely benefits him.
  • Negative interpersonal relationships with the administration. It’s not even worth explaining how constant voltage affects the work process.
  • Work-life conflict. When a person has to make a choice between areas of life, it has a negative impact on each of them.
  • Unstable position at work. In small doses, this allows the bosses to keep their subordinates “on a short leash.” However, after some time, this begins to affect relationships in the team. Constant mistrust impairs the performance and productivity of the entire organization.

Also interesting are the concepts of “readaptation” and “readaptation”, both of which are distinguished by the restructuring of personality due to extreme working conditions. Re-adaptation is aimed at changing oneself and one’s actions to be more suitable under the given conditions. Readaptation helps a person return to his normal rhythm of life.

In a situation of professional maladaptation, it is recommended to listen to the popular definition of rest - changing the type of activity. Active pastime in the open air, creative self-realization in art or crafts - all this allows the personality to switch, and the nervous system to make a kind of reboot. In acute forms of work adaptation disorder, long rest should be combined with psychological consultations.

( 1 rating, average 5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]