Educational Psychology: Do you understand the concept of personality adjustment and maladjustment in relation to a  young learner?How a teacher can adequately harness the potential of a young student effectively?



9b iv). Examine the concept of personality adjustment and maladjustment in relation to a  young learner and how a teacher can adequately harness the potential of a young student.



It is difficult to discuss personality without giving some attention to the concepts of personality adjustment and maladjustment. A pupil will become adjusted or maladjusted depending on the experiences encountered both at home and at school. Children who are exposed to pleasant experiences from early childhood are more likely to develop the capacity for adjustment and psychological health while those who are exposed to unpleasant or traumatic experiences are likely to develop tendencies towards maladjustment.

Let us look at these concepts closely.

Adjustment is the term used to refer to the process by means of which the individual seeks to maintain physiological and psychological equilibrium. It refers to the adequacy of behavior patterns the individual uses to satisfy his needs. A person is adjusted if he satisfies his needs within the framework of the expectations and constraints of the social order. The person must satisfy his needs in ways that are consistent with social expectations for age, sex, and status. To be well adjusted a person must have adequate coping skills.

Characteristics of a well-adjusted person


A well-adjusted person is efficient in dealing with situational demands. This means that he adapts well and deals with challenges competently.

        • He accepts his strengths and weaknesses and goes about life confidently.
        • He also displays social sensitivity and conforms to social standards. This person doesn’t violate rules.
        • Adjustment gives the personal happiness because the adjusted person lives in harmony with his world and is oriented towards self-actualization.


Peoples are faced with adjustment problems all the time. If the problems are too severe, and the solution not forthcoming frustrations arise. Severe and continued frustration leads to maladjustment, desperation, queer, or atypical behavior.

Characteristics of a maladjusted person


The maladjusted person displays an inability to interact appropriately with the physical and social environment.

  • Is unable to satisfy one’s needs
  • Is likely to be an underachiever
  • Suffers from anxiety motivated affiliative needs
  • Has cultivated a self-concept of inferiority and guilt
  • Suffers a breakdown of efficiency under stress
  • Withdraws from participation and can easily disrupt group work
  • Uses defense mechanisms like excessive aggression and destructiveness
  • Will engage in repeated transgressions despite punishment
  • Suffers loss of constructiveness
  • Will withdraw from school or social activities
  • Worries excessively and is likely to fall into depression and pessimism.


Question: Who bears the Responsibility for the overall adjustment of the child?

The primary responsibility for the child’s adjustment lies with the parents.

    • They are the ones who set the basic personality pattern through the security they provide in early childhood.
    • It also lies with the teachers. The teachers hold the key to whether the child will be fulfilled or frustrated.
    • Both the parents and the teachers should help children develop their capacity for adjustment so that they learn to deal with the present as well as future problems competently.
    • If the parents and teachers do their job well then, cases of children who become delinquent, school dropouts, those who have hopeless and helpless lives will be minimized.







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