Types of human adaptation in various life situations

An important human ability in all centuries has been adaptation. To survive, to get used to something new, to learn something, a person must adapt. There are types of adaptation that depend on the factors of their formation. The very concept of adaptation is relevant today in the light of an ever-changing world.

Man has always been forced to adapt. To catch a mammoth, he needed to create weapons and develop a hunting strategy. To survive in cold or hot conditions, he had to create certain means of protecting his body. Modern man, for example, needs to constantly adapt to new laws or rules of society. And if a person leaves for another country, then adaptation is considered an important element in the process of organizing a new life.

Adaptation is the main stage that allows a person to quickly get used to it and develop habits, according to the online magazine psytheater.com. We can say that even in the process of growing up and living, a person is constantly forced to adapt. This concept should be associated with terms such as change and flexibility. A person must change himself in order to adapt. At the same time, he must flexibly perceive surrounding circumstances in order to undergo the adaptation process favorably for himself.

Concept and meaning

Adaptation is the adaptation of the functions and structure of the body, organs (including sensory organs) and cells under the influence of various stimuli and/or environmental conditions.

The success of adaptation depends on the functional and emotional/mental state of the individual.

In Piaget's theory, the term "adaptation" received a slightly different interpretation: the process during which the infant's basic schemas are refined, changed and improved.

Adaptation plays an important role in human life, as it allows one to safely tolerate the variability of external factors and extreme influences, increase survival and competitiveness in relation to other individuals and populations.

Anxiety test

To determine the level of anxiety in a first-grader, it is proposed to conduct a survey of teachers and parents, more details.

When summing up the results, it is necessary to calculate the total score, which sums up the results of both surveys.

a “Good-Bad Chart” test to determine a child’s emotional problems

There is another projective method for diagnosing school anxiety that is similar in its direction (A.M. Prikhozhan).

Adaptation of sensations in psychology

Sensory adaptation - what is it in psychology?

Sensory adaptation should be understood as a change in the sensitivity of the analyzer as a result of increasing or decreasing the irritating effect.

Peripheral and central links of adaptation are involved in the process. The result of sensory adaptation is a restructuring at the physical level , allowing one to perceive the maximum amount of important information.

Those. with prolonged or constant exposure to the stimulus, the analyzers begin to perceive sharp and vivid sensations not as acutely as at the very beginning.

An example is unpleasant odors, which over time a person ceases to detect when in direct contact with the source of the repulsive aroma.

And in a dark room, the sensitivity of the analyzers increases, and the person begins to see more clearly.


The most common diagnostic method is observation. The most commonly used method is sample observation. During its implementation, only those features of the child’s behavior are recorded that distinguish him from the general mass of first-graders. Observation is carried out simultaneously for all children in the class. Basic requirements for organizing surveillance:

  • presence of an observation scheme;
  • systematic;
  • objectivity.

Observation should also include:

  • analysis of the child’s progress;
  • viewing notebooks;
  • listening to oral responses;
  • analysis of existing interpersonal relationships.

As a result of observations, the main seven components are assessed (on a 5-point scale):

  • educational activity;
  • mastering program materials;
  • behavior in lessons;
  • behavior during breaks;
  • relationships with classmates;
  • relationship with the teacher;
  • emotions.

The corresponding scores and conclusions must be entered into the school adaptation card.

The total points can be interpreted as follows:

  • 35 – 28 – high level of adaptation;
  • 27 – 21 – average;
  • 20 or less is low.

To conduct observations during the adaptation period, you can use Stott's map , which provides for the study of asociality, infantility, subordination, activity and uncertainty.

Factor Asociality, Infantility, Subordination, Activity, Uncertainty - see here.

With this method, the overall score is not displayed, but each criterion is assessed separately. After this, groups of children with the highest (above 65%) scores for each factor are determined.

What is the principle of adaptability?

Adaptability requires flexibility from the individual, without which it is impossible to quickly “switch.” If flexibility is present, the reaction to new circumstances will not be resistance, but acceptance.

Adaptability is a reflection of a person’s intellectual qualities (since it is the intellect that allows one to change the train of thought in accordance with the assigned mental task).

If a person does not adapt, he dies . This principle is true not only for people, but also for any organisms.

Questionnaire “Level of School Motivation”

To determine the level of adaptation of first-graders to school, you can also use diagnostics of the child’s motivational sphere according to N.G. Luskanova . It is conducted in the form of a short questionnaire, the questions of which are read aloud, and children must choose the appropriate answer.

When processing the results, all answers must be entered into a table that contains a special key for determining the number of points received.

The calculation results should be interpreted as follows.

This technique allows not only to identify the level of adaptation of schoolchildren, but also to identify the reasons leading to a decrease in the child’s motivation to attend school.

Factors influencing adaptation

Adaptation factors are conditions that influence the adaptation process and its effectiveness.

They can be divided into two categories:

  • external factors (natural, material, social, man-made);
  • internal factors (gender, age, upbringing and values, psychological characteristics of the individual, etc.).

In nature, adaptation is influenced by three main factors:

  • variability;
  • heredity;
  • natural selection.

Regulators of individual adaptation:

  • motives;
  • skills and abilities;
  • accumulated experience;
  • knowledge;
  • strong-willed qualities;
  • capabilities.

Text of the book “Human Ecology. Lecture course"

Lecture 6 TOPIC: Human adaptation to environmental conditions

1. The concept of human adaptation and acclimatization.

2. General patterns of the adaptive process. Adaptation mechanisms.

3. Conditions affecting adaptation.

4. Types of adaptations.

5. The influence of the natural environment on the morphophysiological variability of the human body.

The concept of human adaptation and acclimatization

Under adaptation

understand all types of congenital and acquired adaptive activity, which are provided by certain physiological reactions occurring at the cellular, organ, systemic and organismal levels.

In biology, the process of adaptation

- This is the adaptation of the structure and functions of the body to the conditions of existence. In the process of adaptation, characteristics and properties are formed that turn out to be most beneficial for living beings (or an entire population) and thanks to which the organism acquires the ability to exist in a specific habitat.

Adaptation is closely related to the evolution of organisms and represents one of the essential factors of acclimatization. In economic practice, adaptation is more often associated with the resettlement of animal and plant organisms, with their transfer to other areas that extend beyond the range of a given species. Stably acclimatized organisms are those that easily adapt to changed conditions, reproduce and produce viable offspring in a new habitat.

Human adaptation is a complex socio-biological process, which is based on changes in the systems and functions of the body, as well as habitual behavior.

Human adaptation is a two-way process - a person not only adapts to a new environmental situation, but also adapts this environment to his needs and requirements, creates a life support system (housing, clothing, transport, infrastructure, food, etc.


– adaptation of a person (his entire body or individual systems and organs) to new conditions of existence into which he found himself as a result of moving to a new place of residence. Acclimatization differs from adaptation in that the acquired new properties of the body are not genetically fixed and may be lost if they return to their previous place of residence or move to other conditions.

General patterns of the adaptive process. Adaptation Mechanisms

The phase course of adaptation reactions was first identified by G. Selye (1938).

The first phase of adaptation is emergency

develops at the very beginning of the action of both physiological and pathogenic factors. The first contact of the organism with changed conditions or individual factors causes an indicative reaction, which can turn into generalized excitation in parallel. Reactions are wasteful and often exceed the level required for given conditions. The number of changed indicators in the activities of various systems is unreasonably large. The control of functions by the nervous system and humoral factors is not sufficiently synchronized; the entire phase as a whole is of a search nature and appears as an attempt to adapt to a new factor or to new conditions, mainly due to organ and systemic mechanisms.

The emergency phase of adaptation mainly occurs against the background of increased emotionality (often negative modality). Consequently, the mechanisms of this phase also include all elements of the central nervous system, which provide precisely emotional changes in the body. It can be expressed in different ways, depending not only on the individual characteristics of the body, but also on the strength of irritating factors. Accordingly, it can be accompanied by a strongly or weakly expressed emotional component, on which, in turn, the mobilization of autonomic mechanisms depends.

The second phase (transitional) – persistent adaptation

characterized by the formation of new coordination relationships: enhanced efferent synthesis leads to the implementation of targeted defensive reactions. The hormonal background changes due to the inclusion of the pituitary-adrenal system, and the hormones of the adrenal cortex - “adaptation hormones” - increase their effect. During this phase, the body's adaptive reactions gradually switch to a deeper tissue level. The transition phase of persistent adaptation occurs only under the condition that the adaptogenic factor has sufficient intensity and duration of action. If it acts for a short time, then the emergency phase stops and the adaptation process does not form. If the adaptogenic factor acts for a long time or repeatedly intermittently, this creates sufficient prerequisites for the formation of so-called “structural traces”. The effects of the factors are summed up. Metabolic changes deepen and increase, and the emergency phase of adaptation turns into a transitional phase, and then into a phase of persistent adaptation.

Since the phase of persistent adaptation is associated with constant tension of control mechanisms, restructuring of nervous and humoral relationships, and the formation of new functional systems, these processes can be exhausted in certain cases. If we take into account that hormonal mechanisms play an important role in the development of adaptive processes, it becomes clear that they are the most depleted link.

Depletion of controlled mechanisms, on the one hand, and cellular mechanisms associated with increased energy costs, on the other hand, leads to maladaptation. Symptoms of this condition are functional changes in the body's activity, reminiscent of those changes that are observed in the acute adaptation phase.

Once again, auxiliary systems - breathing, blood circulation - come into a state of increased activity, and energy is wasted uneconomically. However, coordination between systems that ensure a state adequate to the requirements of the external environment is carried out incompletely, which can lead to death.

Disadaptation occurs most often in cases where the effect of factors that were the main stimulators of active changes in the body intensifies, and this becomes incompatible with life.

The basis of the third phase - sustainable adaptation or resistance

constitutes a change in hormonal levels due to the inclusion of the pituitary-adrenal system. Glucocorticoids and biologically active substances released in tissues mobilize structures, as a result of which the tissues receive increased energy, plastic and protective support. It is actually an adaptation - an adaptation and is characterized by a new level of activity of tissue cellular membrane elements, rebuilt due to the temporary activation of auxiliary systems, which can function almost in the original mode, while tissue processes are activated, providing homeostasis adequate to the new conditions of existence. The main features of this phase are:

1) mobilization of energy resources;

2) increased synthesis of structural and enzymatic proteins;

3) mobilization of immune systems.

In the third phase, the body acquires nonspecific and specific resistance - body stability.

Control mechanisms during the third phase are coordinated. Their manifestations are kept to a minimum. However, in general, this phase also requires intense management, which makes it impossible for it to continue indefinitely. Despite the efficiency - turning off “unnecessary” reactions, and therefore unnecessary energy expenditure - switching the body’s reactivity to a new level is not given to the body for nothing, but occurs under a certain voltage of the control systems. This tension is commonly called the “cost of adaptation.” Any activity in an organism that adapts to a given situation costs it much more than under normal conditions (requires, for example, during physical activity in mountain conditions 25% more energy expenditure than normal).

This phase cannot be viewed as something absolutely stable. During the life of an organism that is in the phase of persistent adaptation, deviations (decrease in stability) and readaptation (restoration of stability) are possible. These fluctuations are associated both with the functional state of the body and with the action of various side factors.

Conditions affecting adaptation

G. Selye, who approached the problem of adaptation from new original positions, called the factors whose influence leads to adaptation stress factors

Another name for them is extreme factors
. Not only individual effects on the body can be extreme, but also changed conditions of existence as a whole, for example, the movement of a person from the south to the Far North, etc.). In relation to a person, adaptogenic factors can be natural and social, related to work activity.

Natural factors

. During evolutionary development, living organisms have adapted to the action of a wide range of natural stimuli.

The action of factors causing the development of adaptation mechanisms is always complex, so we can talk about the action of a group of factors of one nature or another. So, for example, in the course of evolution, all living organisms first of all adapted to earthly conditions of existence: a certain barometric pressure and gravity, the level of cosmic and thermal radiation, a strictly defined gas composition of the surrounding atmosphere, etc.

It should be noted that natural factors affect both the animal body and the human body. In both cases, these factors lead to differences in adapted mechanisms of a physiological nature. However, a person helps himself to adapt to the conditions of existence, using, in addition to his physiological reactions, also various protective means that civilization has given him: clothes, houses, etc. This frees the body from the burden on some adaptive systems and has negative aspects for the body : reduces the ability to adapt to natural factors. For example, to the cold.

Social factors.

In addition to the fact that the human body is mobile, the same natural influences as animal organisms, the social conditions of human life, are factors. Associated with his work activity, they gave rise to specific factors to which it is necessary to adapt. Their number grows with the development of civilization.

Thus, with the expansion of the habitat, completely new conditions and influences appear for the human body. For example, space flights bring new sets of impacts. These include weightlessness - a condition that is absolutely inadequate for any organism. Weightlessness is combined with physical inactivity, changes in daily routine, etc.

People penetrating into the bowels of the Earth or making deep-sea dives are exposed to unusually high pressure, humidity, and breathe air with a high oxygen content.

Working in hot shops or cold climates creates factors that require an extended range of adaptation to extreme temperatures. While performing his official duties, a person is forced to adapt to noise and changes in lighting.

Pollution of the environment, the inclusion of a large number of synthetic products, alcoholic beverages in food, abuse of medications, smoking - all this is an additional burden on the homeostasis systems of the modern human body.

As society develops, people's production activities also change. Physical labor is largely replaced by the work of machines and mechanisms. The person becomes an operator at the control panel. This relieves physical stress, but at the same time new factors come to the fore, such as physical inactivity and stress, which negatively affect all systems of the body.

Another side of the social influences of mechanized labor is the increase in neuropsychic stress, which has replaced physical stress. It is associated with increased speeds of production processes, as well as increased demands on human attention and concentration.

Types of adaptations

The mechanisms of human adaptation are very different, therefore, in relation to human communities, they distinguish: 1) biological, 2) social and 3) ethnic (as a special version of social) adaptation.

Human biological adaptation

– an evolutionary adaptation of the human body to environmental conditions, expressed in changes in the external and internal characteristics of an organ, function or the entire organism to changing environmental conditions.
In the process of adapting an organism to new conditions, two processes are distinguished - phenotypic
adaptation, which is more correctly called acclimatization and
genotypic adaptation
, carried out through the natural selection of traits useful for survival. During phenotypic adaptation, the body directly reacts to a new environment, which is expressed in phenotypic shifts, compensatory physiological changes that help the body maintain balance with the environment in new conditions. Upon transition to previous conditions, the previous state of the phenotype is restored, and compensatory physiological changes disappear. During genotypic adaptation, deep morpho-physiological changes occur in the body, which are inherited and fixed in the genotype as new hereditary characteristics of populations, ethnic groups and races.

In the process of individual adaptation, a person creates reserves of memory and skills, forms vectors of behavior as a result of the formation in the body of a bank of memorable structural traces based on the selective expression of genes.

Adaptive memory structural traces have important biological significance. They protect a person from upcoming encounters with inadequate and dangerous environmental factors. The genetic program of an organism does not provide for a pre-formed adaptation, but the possibility of effective targeted implementation of vital adaptive reactions under the influence of the environment. This ensures economical, environment-directed expenditure of the body’s energy and structural resources, and also contributes to the formation of the phenotype. The fact that the results of phenotypic adaptation are not inherited should be considered beneficial for the conservation of the species.

Each new generation adapts anew to a wide range of sometimes completely new factors, requiring the development of new specialized reactions.

Social adaptation

– the process of personality formation, training of an individual and his assimilation of values, norms, attitudes, patterns of behavior inherent in a given society, social community, group. Social adaptation is carried out both in the course of targeted influence on a person in the educational system, and under the influence of a wide range of other influencing factors (family and extra-family communication, art, media, etc.). The expansion and deepening of an individual’s social adaptation occurs in three main areas: activity, communication, and self-awareness. In the sphere of activity, both the expansion of the types of activity with which a person is associated, and orientation in the system of each type of activity are carried out, i.e., highlighting the main thing in it, its comprehension, etc. In the sphere of communication, a person’s social circle is expanded, his enrichment content, deepening knowledge of other people, developing communication skills. In the sphere of self-awareness, the formation of an image of one’s own “I” as an active subject of activity, comprehension of one’s social affiliation, social role, formation of self-esteem, etc. are carried out. In the process of social adaptation, three stages are distinguished: pre-labor (covering the period of a person’s life before the start of his work activity and including early childhood and the period of education), labor (conditional boundaries - the period of a person’s maturity, his active participation in work) and post-work, which refers to the period of a person’s life, coinciding, as a rule, with retirement age.

The impact of each of these institutions is determined by the system of social relations existing in society. The presence of spontaneous influences makes the problem of “social adaptation effects” relevant in practical terms, i.e. the nature and depth of this process, its effectiveness, in particular, overcoming negative influences leading to deviant behavior and antisocial influences.

Ethnic adaptation

– adaptation of ethnic groups (communities) to the natural and socio-cultural environment of their habitat areas. The study of this process and the problems associated with it is mainly the task of ethnic ecology. There is a lot of peculiarity in the socio-cultural adaptation of ethnic groups, determined by linguistic, cultural, political, economic and other environmental parameters. This is most clearly manifested in the ethnic adaptation of immigrant groups in the countries of their settlement, for example in the USA, Canada, Argentina, etc. Currently, problems have arisen in the readaptation of representatives of a single ethnic group among an ethnically homogeneous population, but with a different culture. These are, for example, Germans from the former USSR moving to live in Germany, or Russians from Central Asia and Kazakhstan returning to Russia. At the same time, it is customary to distinguish adaptation related to employment (getting a job), as well as linguistic and cultural adaptation, called “acculturation.”

The normal course of ethnic adaptation can be greatly complicated and delayed by the manifestation of nationalism and racism in the form of discrimination, segregation, etc. A sharp change in the environment can lead to maladaptation.

The influence of the natural environment on the morphophysiological variability of the human body

Despite the “neutralization” or mitigation of the influence of many environmental factors on the body, to this day the connection between man and his environment exists, that is, the morphofunctional characteristics that were formed in the initial period of the existence of the human race are still preserved.

The effect of environmental factors on the human body is most clearly manifested in the morphofunctional differences between residents of different climatic and geographical zones: weight, body surface area, chest structure, body proportions. Behind the external side there are no less pronounced differences in the structure of proteins, isoenzymes, tissues, and the genetic apparatus of cells. The structural features of the body and the course of energy processes are determined mainly by the temperature regime of the environment and nutrition; mineral metabolism - geochemical situation. This is especially evident among the indigenous inhabitants of the North (Yakuts, Chukchi, Eskimos): the basal metabolism is increased by 13–16% compared to visitors. A high level of fats in food, their increased content in the blood serum with a relatively high ability to be utilized are one of the conditions that ensure increased energy metabolism in cold climates. An increase in heat production is one of the main adaptive reactions to cold.

The Eskimos living on the Hudson Bay Islands, compared to Americans of European origin, have a greater tissue filling with blood and a higher percentage of adipose tissue in the body, that is, the thermal insulation properties of the tissues are higher.

They experience increased homeopoiesis and a weakened ability of blood vessels to constrict. Blood pressure in most arctic populations is lower than in temperate zone populations. Differences are noted in body structure: the thoracic index and weight-to-height ratio are increased, mesomorphic features in body proportions are strengthened, and the percentage of individuals with a muscular body type is higher.

A similar morphofunctional complex, characterized by an increase in the size of the chest, heat production, blood flow velocity and hematopoietic activity, is observed in the highlands under conditions of oxygen deficiency and a decrease in ambient temperature. The indigenous inhabitants of the highlands have higher pulmonary ventilation, oxygen capacity of the blood, hemoglobin and myoglobin levels, peripheral blood flow, the number and size of capillaries, and reduced blood pressure.

The population of tropical latitudes is characterized by an elongation of body shape and an increase in the relative evaporation surface, an increase in the number of sweat glands, and, consequently, the intensity of sweating. Specific regulation of water-salt metabolism, increased blood pressure, decreased metabolic rate, achieved by reducing body weight, reducing the synthesis of endogenous fats and reducing the concentration of ATP.

The features of the tropical morphofunctional complex are also characteristic of the population of tropical deserts.

Among the indigenous inhabitants of the continental zone of Siberia, increased heat production is combined with an increase in the thickness of the fat layer. Among them, the percentage of people with a pyknic build and brachymorphic body proportions is increased.

The population of the temperate zone, in many morphological and physiological characteristics, occupies an intermediate position between the Arctic and tropical groups.

All these features characterize the specific features inherent in specific ecological niches.

According to modern ideas, both the external environment and heredity take an equal part in the formation of the constitution. The main features of the constitution are determined hereditarily - the longitudinal dimensions of the body and the dominant type of metabolism, and the latter is inherited only if two or three generations of the family constantly lived in the same area. Combinations of the main characteristics make it possible to distinguish three or four main constitutional types. The secondary feature of constitutions (transverse dimensions) is determined by the living conditions of a person, being realized in the features of his individuality. It is most closely related to the gender, age, profession of the individual, as well as the influence of the environment.

Questions for conversation

1. Formulate the concept of human adaptation and acclimatization.

2. What are the general patterns of the adaptive process?

3. Describe adaptation mechanisms.

4. What types of adaptations do you know?

5. The meaning and mechanism of human biological adaptation.

6. What is the essence of human social adaptation?

7. What determines a person’s ethnic adaptation?

Classification, types and types

What types of adaptation are there? If we consider adaptation at the natural level, we can distinguish three main categories:

  • biological (the process of adaptation within the framework of evolution);
  • physical (the process of adaptation of a particular organism to changes in the external environment through regulation of the functioning of organs);
  • psychological (the process of changing the depth of psychological involvement in certain social processes).

Psychological adaptation extends to areas:

  1. social;
  2. socio-psychological;
  3. professional;
  4. environmental.

Types of adaptation based on sensory characteristics:

  1. Positive . Increasing the sensitivity of analyzers as a response to a weak stimulus signal.
  2. Negative . Reduced sensitivity of analyzers and dulling of sensations as a response to intense and prolonged action of the stimulus.

Adaptation mechanisms: biological

In the process of human evolution, there was a constant adaptation to the conditions of a changing environment, which was called a biological type of adaptation. The concept of adaptation in this category includes changes under the influence of the environment in which it finds itself, both its internal organs and the entire organism as a whole.

When developing criteria that determine the state of health or illness, doctors took this concept as a basis. If the body is ideally adapted to its environment, then it is healthy. When sick, his ability to adapt noticeably decreases and drags on over time. Sometimes the body may completely lack the ability to adapt. This concept is called “disadaptation”.

There are two types of adaptation of the organism to the new conditions surrounding it, or two processes:

  • phenotypic adaptation;
  • genotypic.

During the first, which would be more correctly called acclimatization, the body reacts to changes in the environment, which leads to compensatory physiological changes. They help the body maintain balance with the outside world in new states that have emerged.

If the previous conditions return, then the state of the phenotype is restored and all compensatory changes in physiology disappear.

With genotypic adaptation, beneficial properties are selected naturally. In this case, profound morphophysiological changes are observed in the body, which are fixed in genes as new characteristics that can be inherited.

Stages, levels, stages

Scientists distinguish three stages of adaptation:

  1. There is a destruction of the existing program of homeostasis and stability of physiological functions to the maximum limit (i.e., not below the limit of minimal support for life).
    New programs have not yet passed the implementation stage or have not been created, but old programs have already been destroyed. Therefore, the body goes into “temporary adaptation” mode to survive the critical period. Individual behavior comes down to defense.
  2. Creation and implementation of a new program that forms the structure of homeostatic regulation.
  3. The body’s activity goes into a stable mode and new protocols “optimize the life” of the individual.

Levels of adaptation:

  • physiological adaptation (reaction of compensatory systems that support vital functions in extreme conditions);
  • social adaptation;
  • psychological (development of new neural connections that control the intensity and sequence of the individual’s reactions);
  • work adaptation;
  • anatomical adaptation.

stages :

  • before adaptation begins;
  • introductory stage (situation assessment);
  • familiarization (study of the situation and its accompanying conditions);
  • entry (integration into the current situation);
  • action (a dynamic process in which changes occur and a protocol of behavior/reactions is formed);
  • functioning (following a new protocol of behavior/reactions);
  • completion (fixing the new protocol as a base one).

Stages of adaptation in conditions of partial divergence of value systems

The previous stage of J. Szczepanski is relevant only if there is a cardinal discrepancy between the orientation of the individual and the orientations of the new surrounding reality. If there are certain coincidences, then the following stages of social adaptation will be relevant:

  1. Balancing – it is characterized by the least degree of involvement of the individual in the adaptation processes to the new social environment. More often than not, this stage is associated with recognizing a new situation. The newcomer gets acquainted with the new environment, takes a closer look at the team as a whole and each of its members in particular, establishes social contacts, and studies the specific features of the psychological atmosphere. This stage is completely built on the processes of establishing “equilibrium” between the individual and new conditions for him;
  2. Pseudo-adaptation. The most striking feature of this stage is the combination of external adaptation to the new environment with a negative attitude towards it. The individual seems to pretend that he is satisfied with the new rules, new conditions and value system, but his inner world completely rejects them. However, in order to avoid some attacks from the outside, as well as discrimination, he has to live in this image;
  3. Adaptation – this stage is based on recognition and further (primarily internal) acceptance of the basic value systems of the new situation. At this stage, mutual concessions are very important - both from the individual himself and from the host community or team. The individual finds the strength and desire to abandon some of his views and values, while still maintaining freedom of choice and decision;
  4. Assimilation - a feature of this stage is that there is a reorientation of the individual, an absolute transformation of his values, the previous system of norms and rules of behavior, his worldview. All this happens due to the influence of the environment to which the individual needed to adapt and adapt.

Too lazy to read?

Ask a question to the experts and get an answer within 15 minutes!

Ask a Question

Note 2

It is worth noting that these stages are individual for everyone, since someone needs to go through all the stages of social adaptation, while for others it will be enough to move from the first stage to the last (from balancing to assimilation) without additional stages.

Mechanisms and methods

There are two types of adaptive behavior in humans:

  1. Adaptive (when a person himself adapts to the external environment in order to find a point of comfort).
  2. Adaptive (when a person changes external conditions, creating a comfortable environment for himself).

According to the mechanism of implementation, adaptation can be:

  • voluntary (adaptation at personal request);
  • forced (adaptation if it is impossible to avoid unpleasant and traumatic changes in external stimuli/stimuli/conditions).

Forced adaptation always damages the individual's intellectual markers.

Speed-based adaptation mechanisms:

  1. Sprinter - increased resistance to overcoming short-term extreme conditions of high intensity, but at the same time reduced ability to overcome long-term loads.
  2. Stayer - reduced resistance to overcoming short-term and extreme loads, but increased resistance to long-term low-intensity loads.

Humans are characterized by active adaptation , in which the internal environment remains stable when external conditions deteriorate.

But this statement is true, rather, for physiological adaptation, but not for psychological.

Psychological adaptation in most cases is unpredictable and highly individual .

Styles (mechanisms) for overcoming stressful situations in the case of social adaptation can be very different: positive reinterpretation of the situation and subsequent progress, planning, seeking support, offensive overcoming, acceptance, isolation, denial, containment, etc.

Bottom line

A person is always forced to adapt at different levels of his life. First, a person adapts physiologically, getting used to control of his body, then to the surrounding nature. Social adaptation begins at the moment when parents begin raising a child. At the same time, psychological adaptation occurs when a person develops character traits that will help him feel harmonious in existing conditions.

Adaptation does not always imply exclusively effective and successful, acceptable behavior. You can adapt by developing an illness or bad behavior, which also helps you achieve your goals more quickly under existing conditions.


Labor, professional

Labor (production) adaptation can be primary (employees starting work without experience) and secondary (employees who have changed jobs). And both cases require an individual approach from superiors and managers.

An important stage of professional adaptation is employee identification. Identification may be complete. In this case, the professional is interested in the success of his activities.

But if this stage has not been passed/learned/completed, the person will be indifferent to the results of his work and the success of the company/firm/brand, etc. To complete the stage, it is necessary to have an incentive to work , control at the introductory stage, and prepare a person to work for results.

How to make the process of adaptation to a new workplace as comfortable and painless as possible for all its participants:

After the army

While in the army, a person undergoes adaptation. He adapts to the imposed regime and suppresses his own needs/desires/impulses.

Therefore, after finishing your service, you need to go through the adaptation process again in order to live without disciplinary restrictions.

The soldier transfers patterns of behavior and relationships appropriate in the army to civilians, resulting in dissonance and aggression.

Since standards of behavior are instilled in recruits quite rigidly and categorically, adaptation can be significantly delayed.

Individual protocols of behavior are reinforced for the rest of your life .

After prison

How to adapt to life after prison? Adaptation after prison is complicated by the fact that society refuses to meet criminals halfway . Those. the accommodation is one-sided and pandering.

Persons released from colony were subjected to condemnation and stigmatization, so their self-esteem is significantly underestimated.

A person's social expectations are destroyed because he was forced to communicate with criminal elements.

Therefore, without understanding the principles of adaptation and without receiving psychological help, a former prisoner risks falling out of social life.

Test "Houses"

Another method for diagnosing first-graders’ adaptation to school is the “Houses” test. It is carried out to determine:

  • value orientations;
  • social emotions;
  • personal relationships.

This test is a color association study. The author of the test is O.A. Orekhova. To carry it out you need to prepare:

  • questionnaire;
  • 8 pencils (black, grey, brown, purple, blue, green, yellow, red).

Pencils should not look different from each other.

For the study, you need to invite a group of children (10-15 people) and seat them separately from each other. It is imperative that the teacher is not present in the classroom during the diagnosis. Children must complete three tasks.

Exercise 1.

There is a picture of a house, to which a path of 8 rectangles leads. First graders are asked to color them in order, and each color can only be used once. First you need to choose the color you like best and decorate the first rectangle. Next, take the color that you like best among the remaining ones. The last rectangle will be painted with the ugliest color, in the child’s opinion.

Task 2.

Children will color a picture that shows a street with several houses. The psychologist should explain that different feelings live in these houses and children need to choose for each of them the color with which they are associated when naming such words: happiness, grief, justice, resentment, friendship, quarrel, kindness, anger, boredom, admiration .

In this task, the same color can be used several times. If schoolchildren do not understand the meaning of any of the named words, then the psychologist explains it.

Task 3.

The picture used is the same as in the previous task. Now the children must decorate the houses in a color that symbolizes their inhabitants. The soul of a child lives in the first house. The inhabitants of houses 2-9 are responsible for his mood in such situations:

  • when he goes to school;
  • in a reading lesson;
  • in a writing lesson;
  • in a math lesson;
  • when communicating with the teacher;
  • when communicating with classmates;
  • when he is at home;
  • when doing homework.

In the tenth house, the child must himself accommodate any “colored” tenant, who will signify his special condition in a situation that is important to him personally. After completing this task, each first grader must tell the psychologist what exactly this tenth house means to him (it is better to do this so that the other children do not hear), and he makes a corresponding note on the questionnaire.

When summing up the results of this diagnosis of adaptation of first-graders, the psychologist should focus on the following numbering of colors: 1 - blue, 2 - green, 3 - red, 4 - yellow, 5 - purple, 6 - brown, 7 - black, 0 - gray.

To avoid having to do such complex calculations yourself, you can try to find a special program on the Internet designed to process the results of this test.

“Adaptability” technique - what is it and how does it work?

The adaptability method is a multi-level test adopted as a standard method for studying the adaptive potential of an individual. It is successfully used for professional selection, psychological support of learning processes and professional determination.

The “Adaptability” questionnaire includes 165 questions and four levels:

  1. Typological characteristics of personality.
  2. Maladaptive disorders.
  3. Behavioral regulation, communicative potential and moral normativity.
  4. Potential for aaptation.

“Ladder” technique

To determine the level of self-esteem of a child when diagnosing the adaptation of first-graders to school, it is recommended to use the “Ladder” technique. To carry it out, you need to prepare a drawing of a staircase with numbered steps.

The child is invited to familiarize himself with this arrangement of schoolchildren on the steps:

  • 1 - the nicest guys;
  • 2 and 3 - good;
  • on 4 - neither good nor bad;
  • 5 and 6 - bad;
  • at 7 - the worst.

The first grader must indicate the step on which, in his opinion, he himself should be. You can draw a circle on this step or put another mark. There is no need to focus on the numbering of steps when conducting the test. It is desirable that the same ladder be drawn on the board, and the psychologist would simply point to each step and explain its meaning, and the children would simply correlate it with their image.

The results are assessed as follows:

  • 1 - inflated self-esteem;
  • 2 and 3 - adequate;
  • 4 - underestimated;
  • 5 and 6 - bad;
  • 7 - sharply underestimated.

This technique can be replaced with a similar test “Mugs” .

Also, to determine the level of self-esteem of a first-grader, you can use the method of studying adaptation the Luscher method , which is carried out using special forms.

Study by Luscher method

Maxi Luscher is a specialist in sociology, philosophy, law, religion and clinical psychiatry.

Using the Luscher technique, you can determine the emotional status of a child, his emotions during the educational process and situations related to school, and self-esteem.

Psychodiagnostics is carried out using a color test. The short version of the test consists of 8 colors (gray, dark blue, blue-green, red-yellow, yellow-red, red-blue, brown, black). The extended version includes seven color simulation tables.

The child assigns each color its own serial number based on personal subjective feelings (how pleasing each color is to the eye).

Then the specialist conducts an additional survey, covering the colors according to a special scheme. The finished results are interpreted in accordance with the standards established by Luscher.

The author of the technique selected shades experimentally , selecting stimulus signals from 4500 potential options.

Basic diagnostic issues

Diagnosing the adaptation of first-graders involves conducting an in-depth individual examination. It is aimed at obtaining information about the qualitative indicators of the main necessary changes that must occur in all areas of the child’s life and activity.

The main goal of diagnosis is to identify children who have difficulty adapting and need professional help. Based on the results of the study, individual development trajectories of schoolchildren should be determined and recommendations should be developed for teachers and parents to support children in the process of their school adaptation.

Diagnostics are initiated by the school administration in order to obtain general information about the level of adaptation of all first-graders. This type of activity must be recorded in the school’s work plan for the academic year. The school psychologist is directly involved in conducting research and processing data in close collaboration with the class teacher of first-graders.

Diagnostics is carried out in several stages.

  1. Observation - takes place during the first month of school to detect peculiarities in the child’s behavior during lessons and breaks.
  2. The survey is carried out from September 15 to 30. Aimed at establishing:
  • the level of mental development of first-graders, identifying children who are lagging behind the age norm;
  • the degree of formation of motives for learning, identification of the leading motive;
  • stability of the student’s emotional state, the presence of negative or positive emotions that the child experiences in different educational situations;
  • level of school anxiety, analysis of factors that cause discomfort, tension, and fear in a first-grader.
  1. Drawing up individual conclusions - after the survey, final processing of the data obtained is carried out, on the basis of which:
  • children at risk are identified;
  • recommendations are developed for teachers and parents.

The basis for drawing up such a conclusion should be a summary table with diagnostic results. It may look like this.

  1. Familiarization of participants in the educational process with the results of diagnostics of adaptation of first-graders - the final conclusions are discussed during:
  • small teachers' council or consultation (most often they are held during the autumn holidays);
  • individual consultations;
  • parent meeting.
  1. The development of individual programs for working with children with signs of maladjustment occurs in close cooperation with all interested parties. This work must be completed by the end of the first quarter. The program must include:
  • group classes;
  • individual psychological and pedagogical support;
  • individual forms of work aimed at solving specific problems.

You can use these recommendations from R.V. Ovcharova.

  1. Implementation of individual programs takes 1–4 months.
  2. Repeated diagnostics should be carried out at the end of the school year (April - May) to obtain final data.
  3. The final stage is necessary to compare the starting and final indicators. At this stage, the dynamics of the child’s development are analyzed and the effectiveness of the implementation of the recommendations and programs developed is established.

Based on the information provided, the psychologist must draw up a plan for diagnosing the level of adaptation of first-graders, specifying the indicated areas of activity. It may have this form:

Kind of activity Goal and tasks The content of the work Information summary form Responsible Deadlines

To obtain complete and reliable information about each child during the diagnostic process, it is also necessary to carry out:

  • parent survey;
  • interviewing teachers;
  • study of children's medical records.

The main direction of diagnostic activity is conducting surveys and testing of first-graders using various techniques. It can be carried out both individually and in group form. Typically, it takes 15–20 minutes to examine one child.


School adaptation is a crisis situation, since the child finds himself in new conditions without the appropriate “tools” and experience of similar situations. Studying in the first grade coincides with the 7-year crisis. This makes the adaptation process even more difficult. The period of school adaptation can be called a contradictory period of transformation of a preschooler into a schoolchild.

If the child is ready for school and has the support of the family and teacher, school adaptation can take place in 2-3 months. Otherwise, the process may last for a year and be accompanied by problems or result in maladaptation (the child’s inability to psychologically and physically accept a new way of life).

The democratic style of education has a beneficial effect on the development of the child and his adaptation to any conditions. Child-parent relationships in which each family member acts as an active subject, is interested in the affairs of others, supports, is involved in everything that happens and expects the same from others.

Psychologist's advice

Parents and teachers should take their child’s admission to grade 1 very seriously, because psychological adaptation is a complex and time-consuming process.

Let's consider general advice from a psychologist on how to adapt first-graders to school, which will help children who do not have specific health problems (physical and mental) get used to school.

  • Praise. In mastering his new role as a student, a child can make many mistakes, which are very painful. Therefore, you cannot scold your child and show him your disappointment. At these moments, he needs support and approval more than ever. Praise your first grader even for the most modest successes and achievements.
  • Uniqueness of personality. Under no circumstances should you compare your child with other children. Self-esteem in children at this age is unstable; any traumatic phrases can greatly reduce it. At the same time, motivation for further study is lost. If you need to point out mistakes and development opportunities to your child, it is better to compare him with himself, focusing on improved results.
  • Conditionality of assessments. In the first year of study, it makes no sense to objectively evaluate the results of a student’s success; they can vary greatly under the influence of a number of factors. The main thing is to instill in him a cognitive interest and a positive attitude towards learning activities. Therefore, children can only be assessed verbally and for their successes.
  • Development of hidden potential. The school allows the child to express himself in different areas, be it sports, dancing or creativity. The teacher, together with the parents, must see in him the potential and energy that he can direct in the right direction. It is important to combine this with studying so that you have enough time to prepare for lessons and relax.
  • Encouragement. Children sense lies well, so sincere praise and confidential communication will be very valuable to them. Parents should not replace these things with toys and sweets in order to pay off their children and save their time.

Signs of pathology

Symptoms of adjustment disorder are not always pronounced and may differ in each individual case, which complicates the diagnosis process. The main symptoms are of an anxious and depressive nature. Maladjustment is accompanied by a feeling of inability to cope with the troubles that appear in life. With pathology, the patient becomes suspicious and irritable. Most people note the appearance of a feeling of internal tension. Psychiatry of adaptation disorder has information that it is accompanied by:

  • Anxiety;
  • Persistent anxiety;
  • Internal discomfort;
  • Violations in normal behavior.

In patients with pathology, the mood worsens. In especially severe cases, a sad state appears. A person becomes uninterested in his usual activities. A person becomes physically and mentally exhausted, so he cannot make informed decisions. He does not analyze the situation and is not responsible for the decisions made.

Disadaptation has a vague clinical picture, so when the first suspicious symptoms appear, it is recommended to seek help from a specialist who will correctly diagnose and prescribe effective treatment.


Psychotherapy can help people overcome adjustment disorder.

A psychotherapist will help you work through the emotional and mental symptoms of the disorder. Other people may benefit from group therapy to develop social and interpersonal skills.

One approach may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This technique focuses on changing thinking patterns to help people solve problems and develop positive coping techniques.

Children with adjustment disorder may benefit from family therapy. Family members will work with the therapist to make positive changes such as improved communication, interaction, and support within the family.

In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication along with psychotherapy for symptoms such as depression and anxiety. However, medication is not usually the first line of treatment for adjustment disorders.

What it is

Even in ancient Greece, people tried to understand exactly how the mechanism of adaptation works. Hippocrates and Democritus thought about this. They came to the conclusion that a person’s appearance changes depending on living conditions. Later, similar ideas were supported by Lamarck, and later by Darwin.

Initially, the prevailing idea was that the concept of adaptation was associated only with the physiological level. Everything changed with the advent of G. Selye’s theory.

Definition in psychology

G. Selye was able to introduce a new concept - psychological adaptation. He also identified three stages in the development of the process: anxiety, resistance, exhaustion. His idea was complemented by physiologist N. Fomin: on the one hand, changes are occurring in the body, on the other, all systems are trying to work as before. It is this contradiction that gives rise to adaptation.

A. Maslow understood this term as the interaction between a person and the environment, as a result of which spiritual health appears. In the event of a discrepancy between moral values ​​and the situation, a conflict occurs, which the individual seeks to quickly resolve.

Adaptation is a term in psychology that is viewed from different points of view. R. Lazarus had the following opinion on this issue: in the process of learning about the world, a person receives information that does not always correspond to his attitudes. As a result, conflict occurs. How quickly an individual resolves a contradiction depends on adaptability.

Adaptation is a key concept in psychology. In psychoanalysis, it is understood as the work of the personality’s defense mechanisms. They work to ensure that a person resolves conflict situations with the least possible damage to the psyche.

Adaptation is an ambiguous definition in psychology. Many scientists had their own opinions on its meaning. I. Miloslavsky believed that, thanks to adaptability, a person learns accepted patterns of behavior.

Shakes hands

The term was first considered in the ancient world. During this time, the views of scientists have changed more than once.

( 1 rating, average 4 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]