Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 15, Iss. 1, January, 2011, pp. 29-52
@2011 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


Theory of Positive Disintegration as a Model of Adolescent Development

Krystyna Laycraft, The University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Abstract: This article introduces a conceptual model of the adolescent development based on the theory of positive disintegration combined with theory of self-organization. Dabrowski”s theory of positive disintegration, which was created almost a half century ago, still attracts psychologists” and educators” attention, and is extensively applied into studies of gifted and talented people. The positive disintegration is the mental development described by the process of transition from lower to higher levels of mental life and stimulated by tension, inner conflict, and anxiety. This process can be modeled by a sequence of patterns of organization (attractors) as a developmental potential (a control parameter) changes. Three levels of disintegration (unilevel disintegration, spontaneous multilevel disintegration, and organized multilevel disintegration) are analyzed in detail and it is proposed that they represent behaviour of early, middle and late periods of adolescence. In the discussion, recent research on the adolescent brain development is included.

Keywords: self-organization, complexity, order, attractor, phase transition, brain