Adaptation to challenge: A comparison of the predictive validity of psychodynamic, cognitive, and humanistic theories of adaptation
Adaptation to challenge was studied in 145 college freshmen. Three theories of adaptation, each derived from a prominent school of psychotherapy, were compared regarding their capacities to predict successful internal, social and academic adjustment to college life. Psychodynamic, Cognitive, and Humanistic perspectives on adaptation were represented in six well validated inventories of the theoretical constructs involved. Subjects were assessed at the beginning and end of their first semester freshman year. Major findings were: (1) Psychodynamic, Cognitive, and Humanistic theories of adaptation were all significantly correlated with future well being and interpersonal problems, but not to achievement; (2) all three theories were shown to significantly predict change in interpersonal problems over the course of the semester; (3) no significant differences were observed in the accuracy of the predictions made by the Psychodynamic, Cognitive, and Humanistic theories; (4) this "everyone has won" finding appears to result from considerable conceptual overlap between measures representing these three theories of adaptation; and (5) the Humanistic construct, self regard, was found to be the most informative predictor overall. These results indicate that psychotherapeutically derived theories of adaptation do have predictive validity. Furthermore, they suggest that research on the Humanistic theory, which has recently declined, should be resumed. The implications of these findings to an understanding of adaptation to challenge and to future research are discussed.
Davis, James Timothy Robert, "Adaptation to challenge: A comparison of the predictive validity of psychodynamic, cognitive, and humanistic theories of adaptation" (1995). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9543067.