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Chapter I


Audjustment is defined as the behavioural process of balancing conflicting needs,

or needs against obstacles in the environment (Calhon & Acocella, 1983). Environment

influenced the behavior and inturn behaviour influenced the behaviour. The environment

molds the self. The behaviours that specfic environments elicit may become parmanent

parts of the self, determining the direction of future personality development (Hirsch &

Ellis, 1996).

The dynamic relationship between the person and environment is magnified in

college students. During college, adjustment is a huge factor towards accomplishment.

The environment in which college students live is quite different. Different environmental

factors affects adjustment level among students as stessors, crowding, noise, temperature,

rooms situation etc. The pressure to earn good grades and to earn a degree is very high

(Hirsch & Ellis, 1996). Earning high grades is not the only source of stress for college

students. stress is defined by psychologists including Lazarus (1960) as a sense of threat

accompained by coping efforts aimed at reducing that threat.for most people a final exams

produces stress. It poses the threat of failure,a threat that one’s try to cope with by

studying Other potential sources of stress include excessive homework, unclear

assignments, and uncomfortable classrooms (Kohn & Frazer, 1986). In addition to

academic requirements, relations with faculty members and time pressures may also be

sources of stress (Cohen & Lowental, 1988). Relationships with family and friends, eating

and sleeping habits, and loneliness may affect some students adversely in adjusting

(Wright, 1967). A student with adjustment problems often experiences feelings of

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depression or anxiety or combined depression and anxiety. As a result, may act out

behaviorally against the "rules and regulations" of college, family, work, or society

(Calhon & Acocella, 1983).

Adjustment, in other words, involves genuine crises as well as more ordinary,

day-to-day difficulties. When major crises occur, it is often a good idea to seek

professional psychological help to get one through the adjustment process.for most of

students ,however ,major adjustment crises are rare .The challenge of life is simply coping

with a multitute of minor problems ,things that one’s influence ,such as getting along

better with parents, dealing with difficulities at work, studing more efficiently ,and

controlling anxieties.The way a person adjust and one’s judgement as to whether it is a

healthy adjustment depend very much on what the person is adjusting to .some people can

make a reasonable adjustment to one environment but not to another, in an evironment

that calls for spontaneous behaviour ,a person who is very restrained emotionlly may

seem maladjusted –repressed ,overcontrolled,and so forth .consider ,on the other hand ,a

person in a situation demanding emotional restraint (Calhon & Acocella,1983 ).

Judgements as to whether people well adjusted depends not only on the situation,

but also on values, ideas about how people should behave.every judgment that is make

about whether someone has problems reflects values. judgements as to what is good or

bad adjusted depends on values and on the situation in which the behaviour takes place

.behaviour that seems normal in one situation may not seem so in another .and what looks

like good adjustment according to one set of values may look like maladjusted according

to another ( Calhon & Acocella, 1983 ).

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According to classsical behaviourism, people engage in certain behaviors because

they have learned, through previous experiences, to associate this behaviour with

rewards. Likewise ,people stop engaging in certain behaviours because these behaviour

either have not been rewarded or have been punished .All behaviour ,no matter how

wholesome or destructive ,are learned behaviours, well-adjusted people who have learned

behaviour that help them deal successfully with life’s demands and maladjusted people

who have learned behaviour that prevent them dealing sucessfully with life’s demands. A

good illustration of the behaviorist’s recent interest in internal events is Walter Mischel’s

(1973) theory that human’s behaviour is the product of the interplay of the charactertists

of the situation. According to Mischel, however, behaviour issues from the interaction of

the internal and external events. On the other hand, there are situatinal variables; these

external factors will definitely affect one’s behaviour, but not witout the added influence

of one’s person variables, internal factors such as one’s abilities, habits of mind,

expectations, values, and plans (Calhon & Acocella, 1983).

According to the cognitive behaviorists, good adjustment is the ability to interpret

events in a realistic and within reason positive manner, so that the resulting behaviour will

be self-fillfilling rather than self-defeating. The humanists argues that ideal adjustment

involves a great deal more than simply coping,or even coping sucessfully ,with the

circumstances of one’s life. Rather, it means develpoing all one’s potentials to the fulliest.

Maslow (1954) felt that the kinds of adjustment challenges addresssed by

psychodynamics and behavioural theories, satisfying biological needs, finding friends,

learning to respect one were actually only the preparation for the ultimate challenges, self-

actualization defined as the fulfillment of one’s own completely unique potentials. Viktor
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frankl agree with the humanisticts that each person’s perceptions and capabilites are

utterly unique and good adjustment means the full reailzation of one’s capabilities

(Calhon & Acocella, 1983).

The Student Stress Survey (Zurilla & Sheedy, 1991) was used to determine the

major sources of stress among college students. The scale consisted of 40 potentially

stressful situations. The scale addressed interpersonal, intrapersonal, academic, and

environmental sources of stress. The items in the scale were also classified as either daily

hassles or major life events. Participants were 100 students at a mid-sized, Midwestern

university and varied in year in school, age, gender, and major. Overall, daily hassles were

reported more often than major life events, with intrapersonal sources of stress being the

most frequently reported source. The top five sources of stress were; change in sleeping

habits, vacations/breaks, and change in eating habits, increased work load, and new


A study (Tao, Dong, Pratt, Hunsberger, & Pancer, 2000) at new friendships and

adjustment among 1st-year university students, students at six Canadian universities

completed questionnaires that assessed the quality of new friendships and adjustment

during first academic year. In-depth, face-to-face interviews about students' new

friendships were conducted with a sub sample of the students. Results indicated a

significant positive relation between quality of new friendships and adjustment to

university; this association was stronger for students living in residence than for those

commuting to university. The transition from high school to university is a major life

change for many adolescents. Attending university presents students with learning

experiences and opportunities for psychosocial development. However, entering

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university may be a source of strain and an acute stressor (Gall, Evans, & Bellerose,

2000). Academic demands increase and new social relations are established (Tao et al.).

Students are often uncertain of their abilities to meet these demands (Dwyer &

Cummings, 2001). For students who move away from home, the transition to university

reduces contact and, likely support, from family as well as friends. Difficulties handling

these stressors associated with the transition may lead to decreased academic performance

and increased psychological distress (Dwyer & Cummings, 2000).

One study (Chemers & Garcia, 2001) used two sets of questionnaires to record

data about college adjustment. The questionnaires were handed out at the beginning of

the fall semester and the end of the second semester. The researchers calculated how

academic self-efficacy and optimism affect a student’s academic performance, stress,

health, and commitment to remain in school results within each set of surveys. Study

found that academic self-efficacy and optimism had a strong correlation to performance

and adjustment, but also had a direct correlation to academic performance.

Another study (Gale Group, 2000) investigated the interrelationship in among

academic stress, anxiety, time management, and leisure satisfaction among 249

university undergraduates by age and gender. Time management behaviors had a greater

buffering effect on academic stress than leisure satisfaction activities. Significant gender

differences existed among all the measures. Females had more effective time

management behaviors than males, but also experienced higher academic stress and

anxiety. Males benefited more than females from leisure activities. Fresh students had

higher reactions to stress than juniors and seniors. Anxiety, time management, and
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leisure satisfaction were all predictors of academic stress in the multivariate analysis.

Anxiety reduction and time management in conjunction with leisure activities may be an

effective strategy for reducing academic stress in college students.

One study (Valios, Thatcher, Drane, & Reininger, 1997) found that both Public

and Private high school students participate in high risk behavior, of which Public high

school students were more likely to participate in high risk behavior, this was while the

students were still in attendance at their respective high schools. The results of study also

suggested that attending a private high school was a safeguard against high-risk behavior.

Another study (Stein, Soskin, & Korchin, 1975) found that when they examined

public urban, public suburban, and private residential schools there was a greater amount

of high-risk behavior, i.e. drug use, among suburban and private residential schools than

in the urban environment. Study brings the idea of the suburban and residential students

having more high-risk behavior than their urban counterparts, which had previously been

a stereotype. The researchers found that the reason behind the elevated quantity of high-

risk behavior amongst suburban and private residential schools was that the students

came from predominantly well-educated and wealthy families. The cause of these

students elevated high-risk behavior was straightforward: lack of entertainment.


The main objective of the study is to differentiate how the conveniences provided

in a private sector institute effect adjustment levels of students as compared to the

facilities provided in a public sector institute.

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The main significance of the study provides information on the steps that should

be taken to provide better facilities to students which will help them to adjust in the

institutes. This study will help to understand adjustment to a new place which is

considered an important psychological process due to its effects on the performance and

functioning of individuals. It will predict how we can make public sector institutions

more effective for the adjustment of students.