THE UTILITY OF SELF-ACTUALIZATION AS A PREDICTOR OF PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO LIFE STRESS, PERCEIVED SOCIAL SUPPORT, AND WAYS OF COPING

GARY GEORGE FORD, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine further the personality construct of self-actualization by investigating its relationship to the environmental and cognitive-behavioral variables of stressful life events, perceived social support from family and from friends, and problem-focused coping with stress--relationships that have not been explored previously. Measures of each of these variables were administered to a sample of 106 adult undergraduate student volunteers (54 females and 52 males) at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus. The relationship of each variable to psychological adjustment was also tested by administering the Beck Depression Inventory. Subjects completed the measures at home.^ Correlations obtained were consistent with the hypotheses that self-actualization would be related positively to both measures of perceived social support and inversely to depression and stressful life events. Perceived social support from family and friends was inversely related to depression, and stressful life events was related positively to depression. Contrary to what was predicted, problem-focused coping was not related significantly and positively to self-actualization or inversely to depression. Additionally, self-actualization, problem-focused coping, and perceived social support from family and from friends were each evaluated as "buffers" of the relationship between stressful life events and depression. The hierarchical multiple regression procedures yielded no significant results.^ The significant results of the present study supported an interactionist perspective on personality functioning: personality constructs, environmental variables, and cognitive-behavioral variables are interrelated and all appear to play significant roles in personality functioning and psychological adjustment. Significant sex differences in the relationship of self-actualization to perceived social support were also discovered. This finding was discussed in terms of its suggestion of possible sex differences in the developmental process of self-actualization. ^

Subject Area

Personality psychology

Recommended Citation

FORD, GARY GEORGE, "THE UTILITY OF SELF-ACTUALIZATION AS A PREDICTOR OF PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO LIFE STRESS, PERCEIVED SOCIAL SUPPORT, AND WAYS OF COPING" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8628542.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8628542

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