IMMATURE PERSONALITY

A personality trait disturbance characterized by childish emotional and behavior patterns.Immature personalities are found at every age. Typically these individuals have little control over their emotions, shifting from laughter to tears or from friendliness to hostility in a matter of minutes. When faced with frustrations and decisions, they are likely either to “fold up” or react impulsively and unthinkingly. They cannot tolerate pressure of any kind and tend to panic in an emergency. If they are unable to solve their problems or gratify their desires, they revert to the tactics of infancy and childhood.Immature women who cannot get their way invariably sulk, pout, stamp their feet, throw a typical tantrum, or let their household duties slide. Immature men are likely to storm about the house, rush out»to the corner bar, blame others for their errors, chase girls, or foist their responsibilities on others. Both tend to be unrealistic in their expectations and spend their money unwisely. As they advance in age they show little capacity to adjust to the changes and stresses that inevitably occur, and their lives become one long series of quarrels, jealousies, accusations of neglect, spiteful actions, and anger outbursts. See PERSONALITY TRAIT The following case illustrates one of the more frequent forms of immaturity in women:Illustrative Case: IMMATURE PERSONALITY Jane H. is a seventeen-year-old girl who was referred to the Psychiatric Clinic of the Juvenile Court because of her involvement with a married man. She had been dating this twenty-six-year-old man before she knew he was married and the father of two children. She attended a union party with him, at which time she became drunk and spent the night with him in a hotel room. When the girl returned to her home the next day, the family brought her to the Juvenile Court after she told about what had occurred. The man was arrested, fined, and placed on probation.When seen at the Clinic, the girl was tense and anxious, and talked hurriedly and with considerable pressure of speech. She spoke intimately and freely about the episode bringing her to the Juvenile Court, and about her relationships with other boyfriends. Her judgment appeared to be undependable under stress, and her relationships with other people were characterized by fluctuating emotional attitudes. There was strong evidence of poorly controlled hostility, guilt, and anxiety. The girl reacted in a primitive and infantile manner, and despite the fact that she was seventeen years old, she behaved much in the manner of a young child. During her examination she alternately laughed and cried, and made free use of dramatic body gestures and facial expressions. (Kisker, 1964)

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "IMMATURE PERSONALITY," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/immature-personality/ (accessed July 20, 2019).
SHARE