Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1980

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Paul Zelhart

Abstract

Dabrowski’s theory of positive disintegration relates that anxiety appears to be the dynamic of self-actualization. A study to assess this hypothesis (Wilkins, Hjelle, & Thompson, 1977) indicated that self-actualization was incompatible with chronic, debilitating or neurotic anxiety. However, the test purported to measure or assess self-actualization (the Personal Orientation Inventory) is biased against Dabrowski’s premise because the POI’s theoretical constructs and test construction are based upon the philosophy that anxiety is a hindrance to self-actualization. The findings of this study support the position that self-actualization and anxiety are compatible at both low and high self-actualized levels with self-actualization positively contributing to anxiety at the high self-actualized level. Severely anxious individuals are not necessarily self-actualized but anxiety does not, apparently, inhibit self-actualization growth. Self-actualization appears to precipitate anxiety as a means of growth. However, anxiety does not necessarily precipitate self-actualization. Thus Dabrowski’s theory of positive disintegration remains viable.

Rights

Copyright 1980 Orin Dodez

Comments

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