Adaptational style refers to the characteristic pattern of thoughts and behavior a person employs in order to mediate between goals and emotions and the demands of the enveloping social environment. These patterns of thought have been variously labeled by other investigators as defense mechanisms (e.g., Hauser, 1986) and ego processes (Haan, 1977); in the discussion that follows, I use the term adaptational styles, following Vaillant (1977), to emphasize the ubiquity and necessity of these patterns of thought in healthy development. Before turning to the findings of the longitudinal study, however, it will be useful to consider the history and current status of the concept of defense mechanisms (to be replaced with the term adaptational styles from this point forward).
KeywordsMoral Judgment Testing Point Multiple Regression Equation Coping Score Occupational Success
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