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Adjustment vs. Maladjustment: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Adjustment refers to adapting or changing to suit conditions, while maladjustment denotes a failure to adapt appropriately to these conditions.
Adjustment vs. Maladjustment

Key Differences

Adjustment involves making changes or alterations to fit into a new situation or environment, suggesting adaptability and flexibility. Maladjustment, in contrast, implies an inability or failure to adjust, often leading to difficulty in coping with situations.
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Dec 06, 2023
In psychological terms, adjustment is seen as a positive response to life's challenges, indicating healthy coping mechanisms. Maladjustment, however, signifies unhealthy or ineffective coping, often resulting in emotional or behavioral issues.
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Adjustment can be seen in the successful adaptation to life changes, such as moving to a new city or starting a new job. Maladjustment is evident when individuals struggle significantly with such transitions, unable to find their footing.
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The process of adjustment is often gradual and involves learning and growth, reflecting a person's resilience. Maladjustment is characterized by resistance to change, inability to learn from experiences, and often a decline in functioning.
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Adjustment is generally a sign of mental and emotional health, indicating a balance between personal needs and external demands. Maladjustment points to disturbances in this balance, often manifesting in stress, anxiety, or social problems.
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Adapting to conditions
Failure to adapt
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Psychological Impact

Positive coping
Negative coping
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Behavior

Flexible, resilient
Rigid, struggling
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Outcome

Growth, learning
Stress, dysfunction
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Social Interaction

Effective engagement
Difficulties in interaction
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Adjustment and Maladjustment Definitions

Adjustment

A small alteration or movement made to achieve a desired fit.
The mechanic made a few adjustments to the engine for better performance.
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Maladjustment

The failure to adapt to new conditions or an environment.
His maladjustment to the new school was evident in his declining grades.
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Adjustment

The process of adapting or becoming better suited to a new situation.
After her move, she made a quick adjustment to city life.
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Maladjustment

Psychological imbalance manifesting in inappropriate behaviors or emotions.
Her maladjustment at work led to frequent conflicts with colleagues.
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Adjustment

A settlement or arrangement, especially in financial contexts.
The final adjustment of the accounts took a few hours.
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Maladjustment

Inability to cope effectively with social or personal requirements.
The child's maladjustment was seen in his difficulty making friends.
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Adjustment

The act of revising or modifying something.
The adjustment of the plan was necessary to accommodate the new data.
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Maladjustment

Failure in adapting to a particular situation or set of circumstances.
His maladjustment to the team’s dynamics affected the project’s progress.
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Adjustment

The process of achieving a psychological balance between personal needs and the environment.
His adjustment to college life was smooth, balancing studies and social activities well.
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Maladjustment

Faulty or inadequate adjustment, as in a machine.
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Oct 19, 2023

Adjustment

The act of adjusting or the state of being adjusted.
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Oct 19, 2023

Maladjustment

Inability to adjust to the demands of interpersonal relationships and the stresses of daily living.
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Oct 19, 2023

Adjustment

A means of adjusting.
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Maladjustment

A poor or faulty adjustment, especially of a mechanism.
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Oct 19, 2023

Adjustment

Settlement of a debt or claim.
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Maladjustment

(psychology) The inability to adapt oneself to the needs of others, or to the stresses of normal life.
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Oct 19, 2023

Adjustment

A modification, fluctuation, or correction
Made an adjustment on the telephone bill.
An adjustment in the consumer price index.
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Maladjustment

A bad adjustment.
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Adjustment

The action of adjusting something
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Maladjustment

The condition of being unable to adapt properly to your environment with resulting emotional instability
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Adjustment

The result of adjusting something; a small change; a minor correction; a modification or alteration
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Maladjustment

A state of disharmony between an individual's needs and the demands of society.
The novel explored the protagonist's maladjustment to societal norms.
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Adjustment

The settling or balancing of a financial account
The credit card company made an adjustment to my account to waive the late fee.
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Oct 19, 2023

Adjustment

The behavioural process of balancing conflicting needs, or needs against obstacles in the environment.
When Jim graduated, he found adjustment to the working world difficult.
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Oct 19, 2023

Adjustment

The assessment, by an insurance company, of a claim; the settlement of such a claim
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Adjustment

The act of adjusting, or condition of being adjusted; act of bringing into proper relations; regulation.
Success depends on the nicest and minutest adjustment of the parts concerned.
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Oct 19, 2023

Adjustment

Settlement of claims; an equitable arrangement of conflicting claims, as in set-off, contribution, exoneration, subrogation, and marshaling.
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Adjustment

The operation of bringing all the parts of an instrument, as a microscope or telescope, into their proper relative position for use; the condition of being thus adjusted; as, to get a good adjustment; to be in or out of adjustment.
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Adjustment

Making or becoming suitable; adjusting to circumstances
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Adjustment

The act of making something different (as e.g. the size of a garment)
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Oct 19, 2023

Adjustment

The act of adjusting something to match a standard
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Adjustment

The process of adapting to something (such as environmental conditions)
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Adjustment

An amount added or deducted on the basis of qualifying circumstances;
An allowance for profit
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Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can adjustment be a negative process?

Typically, it's seen as positive, indicating effective coping.
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Can maladjustment be corrected?

Yes, often through therapy, support, and personal effort.
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How is adjustment reflected in behavior?

Through flexibility and resilience in the face of change.
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Is maladjustment always a long-term issue?

Not necessarily; it can be temporary, depending on circumstances.
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Does culture affect adjustment?

Absolutely, cultural factors play a significant role in adjustment.
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Can adjustment occur in all age groups?

Yes, it's a lifelong process relevant to all ages.
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How does maladjustment affect mental health?

It can lead to stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
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What is adjustment in psychology?

It's the process of adapting effectively to new situations or changes.
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Is adjustment always conscious?

Not always; it can be a subconscious process too.
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What defines maladjustment?

Inability to adapt appropriately to environments or situations.
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Can a person be well-adjusted in one area and maladjusted in another?

Yes, adjustment can vary across different areas of life.
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Can external support aid in adjustment?

Yes, support from others can greatly facilitate adjustment.
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Are there physical symptoms of maladjustment?

Yes, like sleep disturbances or changes in appetite.
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Is adjustment a sign of emotional maturity?

Generally, yes, as it involves handling changes maturely.
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How is maladjustment treated?

Through counseling, therapy, and addressing underlying issues.
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Is maladjustment a medical diagnosis?

Not in itself, but it can be part of other psychological diagnoses.
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Dec 06, 2023

Is maladjustment always visible?

Not always; it can sometimes be internal or not immediately apparent.
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How does childhood affect later adjustment?

Early experiences can significantly influence future adjustment.
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Can maladjustment lead to antisocial behavior?

It can, especially if not addressed effectively.
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Can too much adjustment be detrimental?

Over-adjusting can sometimes lead to losing one's identity or values.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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