Adaptation to Life
By (author) George E. Vaillant
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Adaptation to Life by George E. Vaillant
Book DescriptionGeorge Vaillant discusses these and other questions in terms of a clearly defined scheme of "adaptive mechanisms" that are rated mature, neurotic, immature, or psychotic, and illustrates, with case histories, each method of coping.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674004146
(210mm x 140mm x 32mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 2-Oct-1995
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author George E. Vaillant
Triumphs of Experience, Paperback (May 2015)
At a time when people are living into their tenth decade, the longest longitudinal study of human development ever undertaken offers welcome news for old age: our lives evolve in our later years and often become more fulfilling. Among the surprising findings: people who do well in old age did not necessarily do so well in midlife, and vice versa.
Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited, Paperback (June 1995)
This text, first published in 1983, examines various aspects of the problem of alcoholism. Vaillant's original study was based on an evaluation of more than 600 individuals followed for over 40 years. This updated version utilizes current knowledge to examine the same alcoholics 15 years on.
Ego Mechanisms of Defense, Hardback (June 1992)» View all books by George E. Vaillant
By summarizing the empirical studies, proposing a universal language of defense mechanisms, and demonstrating how various assessment methods can be used in diagnosis, case formulation, and treatment, Dr. Vaillant and an interdisciplinary group of contributors provide the groundwork for clinical practice as well as future research in the field.
US Kirkus Review » How men adapt to life: the conclusions of an ambitious research project initiated nearly 40 years ago. Limited to bright, white, promising college men - a pilot population - in the late Thirties and early Forties, the Grant Study reconstructed childhoods via subject and parent interviews, observed the young men in college, and followed them up at regular intervals for 30 years. Most subjects were conscientious about maintaining contact and honest - eventually - about private transactions. Vaillant, a Harvard psychiatrist and current director of the Study, interviewed extensively, streamlined the data, and now has shaped the findings for a general, educated readership. Indebted to both Freuds (father and daughter) and to Erikson for his psychiatric orientation, he proceeds cautiously and is assiduous in illuminating his own biases. The men themselves emerge not as "fugitives from a script by Tennessee Williams" (a frequent case history complaint) but as scrupulously delineated personalities exhibiting enormously variable adaptive behaviors - the ego mechanisms of defense, here calibrated in a maturational scheme. Vaillant maintains, as others have, that these adaptive techniques (e.g. sublimation, hypochondriasis, intellectualization) are as significant in determining the course of a man's life as established factors like heredity, environmental influences, and psychiatric intervention. For example, he demonstrates how those from barren childhoods used immature defense mechanisms (fantasy, projection) and had lifelong problems sustaining intimate relationships while those from warm, stimulating homes evolved mature mechanisms (suppression, humor) and enjoyed deep friendships and (conventional) success as adults. However, manifestations of growth appear throughout adult life - not the "high drama" of Passages but those gradual modifications that reflect pyramiding vitality and strengths. Vaillant writes fluently and persuasively, anticipating objections and conferring meaning on all those little details - chest pain timing, verbal slips, open buttons - that always discomfit the skeptics. Despite some inherent conceptual limitations and the skewed population, a penetrating and revealing work. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - George E. Vaillant
George E. Vaillant is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
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