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Self-Derogation and Adjustment to Recent Life Experiences

Howard B. Kaplan, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;22(4):324-331. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01740280036007.
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ANUMBER of theoretical discussions and reports of empirical studies have asserted strong associations between self-rejecting attitudes and experiences of severe subjective distress (operationally distinguished from self-derogation) or other aspects of psychopathology.1(pp202-235),2(pp372-380),3,4 Other reports have suggested that the phenomenon of self-derogation plays a strategic role in the process by which (socially defined) deviant roles are adopted and stabilized.4-7 These observations imply that investigations of the sociocultural and social-psychological antecedents of self-derogation will at the same time increase understanding of the etiology of a variety of forms of psychosocial deviance. The study under consideration represents such an addition to the growing literature on the correlates of negative self-attitudes.1,8-10 This communication presents findings relevant to two general hypotheses.

Hypothesis 1.—Self-derogation is a direct function of the number of recent life experiences (reported by the subject) requiring adjustment in behavior patterns.

Hypothesis 2.—


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