HILLSIDE Hospital studies of prognosis have emphasized the utility of psychiatric diagnosis1 and age of onset of illness.2 Zigler and Phillips3 utilizing a different approach suggest the central role of personal and social maturity. In their view, as an individual ages, he passes through successive levels of maturity. At each level society presents a complex of tasks with which the individual is expected to cope. The higher the maturational level attained, the greater the resources the individual should have enabling him to cope successfully with society's expectations.
Since for every maturational level there exist normal adaptive patterns as well as pathological deviations from these patterns, in the opinion of Zigler and Phillips psychopathology can be viewed as representing various inappropriate methods of coping with specific tasks appropriate to the age or expected level of maturation. The higher the maturity level attained