About This Book
Psychology of Adjustment: The Search for Meaningful Balance combines a student focus with state-of-the-art theory and research to help readers understand and adjust to life in a context of continuous change, challenge, and opportunity. Incorporating existential and third wave behavioral psychology perspectives, the authors emphasize the importance of meaning, mindfulness, and psychologically-informed awareness and skill. An inviting writing style, examples from broad ethnic, cultural, gender, and geographic areas, ample pedagogical support, and cutting-edge topical coverage make this a psychological adjustment text for the 21st century.
Part 1 Perspectives and Processes
Chapter 1 Adjustment A Life Process
- Explain what adjustment means in psychology and how it is determined in individuals.
- Identify the different types of internal and external change that humans experience.
- Describe various ways that individuals perceive change.
- Discuss the two traditions in psychology that influence the study of adjustment.
- Summarize the approach of each of the two parts of this text.
Mark had been looking forward to college for a long time. He remembered sitting in elementary school classes and hearing of the great things that awaited him in college. This was reinforced in high school. While most of his friends were not interested in more education, more time away from making money, more reading and writing and studying, Mark had that desire for more. He was not the traditional college student from the right neighborhood, the right high school, the right family. He worked his way into the opportunity, saving his money and living at home until one day he had enough. There were a few years of work between high school and college, but with loans, scholarships, his savings, and his steady job earnings, he went to college.The college halls did not look like those in high school. The lawns and buildings were more manicured. Mark found course expectations to be different. In high school, attendance was important. In college, many of his professors did not take attendance. He was expected to be there. If he did not come to class, it was his responsibility to master the materials covered. When he asked the teacher for notes, he received a friendly but adamant no. It was up to him to generate the notes. While the professors were happy to help in many ways, the subtle shift in responsibility from teacher to student was clear. And in response, he found that he liked the responsibility. He was an active partner in his education. No more hiding in the back. No more sneaking out of class. It was his education to seek and to gain.
Martha assumed she would go to college for as long as she could remember. Her parents were college educated, and their friends were college graduates. She started to collect college banners early in high school (University of Michigan, Yale University, UCLA, University of Hawaii, University of Washington, Arizona State University). She spoke with her parents about what to consider in school selection: size of the student body, geographic location, private or public, and liberal arts-oriented or a research university. By her junior year, she had a list of 20 possibilities and brochures for each school. She visited several campuses at the end of her junior year and into the summer. By the beginning of her senior year, she knew her preferred choices and her second choices. She applied for “early decision” but did not get accepted. When she did get into a university, she did not receive a large financial aid package. And given shifts in her parents’ employment, this meant that she would have to work to help pay for her expenses. While possible, this meant that she would have to struggle to include some of the college extracurricular activities on which she had planned or to forgo them if the time did not allow.Martha went to college but found the experience to be different from what she expected. There were new friends to make. Classes were held at different times. The professor did not always teach the class session. So Martha found herself having to manage her time, balancing studies, work, and social activities. Because she lived on campus, her parents did not oversee her life. Instead, she had roommates her age with whom to relate. Some were neat and some were not. Differences in lifestyle became apparent very quickly. These things made for more changes in her life, and they were not easy.
Determining Adjustment in Individuals
Goodness of Fit