Should adjustment disorder be conceptualized as transitional disorder? in pursuit of adjustment disorders definition

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Abstract

Background The DSM classification of an adjustment disorder is frequently criticized for not being well differentiated from other disorders.Aims A possible reason for this is the vague definition of the term adjustment in social science literature. Hence, the current paper discusses the definition of adjustment and its implications for understanding maladjustment.Method Differential definitions of the terms adjustment, adaptation, socialization and coping are outlined, leading to the proposition that each one of them represents a different type of demand that is imposed on an individual who encounters a transitional event. Moreover, the four types of demands might be the possible sources of maladjustment.Conclusion Helping people in transition requires an identification of the source, or combination of sources, that have led to the adjustment problem first, followed by the implementation of an adequate helping approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-588
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Adjustment
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Coping
  • Socialization
  • Transition

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