Thursday, May 23, 2024

definition of adjustment in psychology



Definition of Adjustment in Psychology is available in the article. Originally, the idea of adjustment was a part of biology and played a crucial role in Darwin’s theory of evolution (1859). In biology, it was often called adaptation. Darwin believed that only the organisms best suited to handle the challenges of the physical world would survive. He propagated the famous theory “Survival of the fittest.”

Definition of Adjustment in Psychology

Definition of Adjustment in Psychology

In psychology, adjustment means how well a person can adapt and handle the demands of their surroundings. It involves finding a mental balance by changing thoughts, feelings, and actions to fit the situation.

Adjustment refers to the psychological processes and strategies individuals need to navigate the challenges and demands of life successfully. It involves adapting one’s thoughts, behaviours, and emotions to achieve a balance between personal needs and the expectations of the surrounding.

Definition of Adjustment in Psychology

Adjustment is a dynamic and ongoing process, as individuals continually face new situations and experiences that require adaptation.

In other words, it is a process of equilibrium between the needs of humans and other living beings and challenges of their environment.

Adjustment also means figuring out how to balance different needs or dealing with challenges in the environment through behaviour. Here you can see definition of adjustment in psychology on APA.

In the article, you will find definition of adjustment in psychology.

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Definition of Adjustment in Psychology

Let’s further explain adjustment in more detail under the following headings:

Coping Mechanisms

Coping mechanisms are strategies individuals use to manage stress, adversity, or any challenging situation.

Whenever people feel stressed or go through tough times, they use these strategies to handle their challenging emotions. Coping mechanisms assist individuals in dealing with stressful situations and keeping their emotional well-being intact.

Definition of Adjustment in Psychology

For instance, if someone is dealing with a tough situation, they might try to solve the problem, talk to friends for support, or do activities to handle stress.

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Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation involves managing and expressing emotions appropriately in different situations.

In other words, emotional regulation means being able to control how you feel. This might include changing how you think about a tough situation to feel less angry or anxious, not showing when you’re sad or scared, or finding reasons to feel happy or calm.

Definition of Adjustment in Psychology

For example, Instead of reacting impulsively to frustration, an individual may learn how to regulate emotions through deep breathing or positive rethinking.

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Here adjustment includes adapting to changes in life circumstances, whether they are positive or negative.

We are all always continue to adapt to our circumstances. For example, Moving to a new city, starting a new job, or experiencing a major life event requires individuals to adjust to the changes and establish a new routine. After sometime, it becomes a normal thing for us.

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Cognitive Adjustment

Cognitive adjustment involves modifying thought processes and beliefs to better align with reality.

Definition of Adjustment in Psychology

According to Taylor’s (1983) cognitive adaptation theory, when people go through big life changes, like getting diagnosed with a long-term illness, they adapt to their new situation. The adjustment involves three things: looking for positive meaning or staying optimistic, trying to regain a sense of control in life, and working on boosting self-esteem. Read here in detail.

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Social Adjustment

Social adjustment refers to the ability to form and maintain positive relationships with others. (source)

Definition of Adjustment in Psychology

Social adjustment is a psychological process. It often means dealing with new standards and values. In psychology terms, it’s about getting along well with the people in your community.

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Work and Academic Adjustment

Adjusting to the demands of work or academic environments involves developing effective time management, organisational skills, and goal-setting. (source)

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In simpler words, resilience is literally “bounce back with a bang.” It is a key component of adjustment, representing the ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges. Here you can see the definition of resilience as per APA (American Psychological Association).

Definition of Adjustment in Psychology

A resilient person is someone who can handle tough situations well. They use their skills, get help when necessary, and find ways to deal with what they’re going through.

Cultural Adjustment

In cultural adjustment, individuals may need to adjust to a new cultural environment, including customs, values, and social norms.

Definition of Adjustment in Psychology

Moving to a new country, city, or living in a different culture can be both exciting and scary. It’s normal for everyone going through such a change to take some time to adjust. It is a normal process that takes time in order to align with the new culture and values. (source)

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Lifestyle Adjustment

Changes in lifestyle, such as adopting healthier habits or managing a new family dynamic, require adjustment and thus it is called lifestyle adjustment.

Definition of Adjustment in Psychology

It involves adjusting to a healthier lifestyle might involve incorporating regular exercise, dietary changes, and stress management practices.

Continuous Process

Adjustment is not a one-time event but an ongoing process throughout life.
For example, as individuals age, they may need to adjust to changes in physical health, family dynamics, and societal expectations.

In the article, you are reading definition of adjustment in psychology.


In essence, adjustment in psychology is a multidimensional process that encompasses various aspects of human experience. It reflects an individual’s capacity to adapt, learn, and thrive in the face of life’s challenges. Embracing the concept of adjustment allows individuals to navigate the complexities of life with resilience, flexibility, and a positive mindset. Adjustment may be treated as an achievement in development of personality. It helps individuals navigate diverse social situations, cope with challenges, and build flexibility. Developing adaptive strategies fosters personal growth and contributes to positive state of mind.



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