Roy Theory

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Conceptual Models Chapter08
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Roy’s Adaptation Model
Mary E. Tiedeman
Sister Callista Roy received a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1963 from Mount Saint Mary’s College. She received a master’s degree in pediatric nursing in 1966, a master’s degree in sociology in 1975, and a doctorate in sociology in 1977, all from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1985, she completed a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, and she spent an additional 2 years doing clinical research with patients who had neurological deficits. Roy’s professional career has included positions in both clinical and educational settings. Her major professional positions have been in educational settings; she is currently a professor at the School of Nursing, Boston College. She also is an active member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondolet and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (Roy, personal communication, March 6, 1986; Roy, 1983; 1997; Roy & Andrews, 1991, 1999).

According to Roy (personal communication, March 6, 1986), her major professional interest is the development of nursing as a scientific and humanistic discipline with an articulated and tested theory base that directs nursing practice and nursing education. Her clinical and research interests focus on neuroscience nursing and are aimed at understanding basic human cognitive processes, particularly cognitive recovery in persons with head injury.

The development of the adaptation model for nursing has been influenced by Roy’s personal and professional background. She is committed to 146
Conceptual Models of Nursing: Analysis and Application, by Joyce J. Fitzpatrick and Ann Whall. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2005 by Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 0-536-26229-2
philosophical assumptions characterized by the general principles of humanism, veritivity, and cosmic unity, espousing a belief in holism and in the innate capabilities, purpose, and worth of human beings. Her pediatric clinical experience has fostered a belief in the resiliency of the human body and spirit. It was from her clinical experience in nursing and a review of the literature that she derived her concepts of person, environment, health, and nursing (Andrews & Roy, 1991a, 1986; Roy, 1991a, 1987a; Roy & Andrews, 1999). Roy began her work on the adaptation model in the 1960s, when she was a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles. Drawing upon the works of experts in the areas of systems theory (von Bertalanffy, 1968) and adaptation (Dohrenwend, 1961; Helson, 1964; Lazarus, 1966; Mechanic, 1970; Selye, 1978), she formulated a beginning conceptualization and has continued developing the model. During the last 30 years, the model has been developed as a framework for nursing education, research, and practice using a variety of strategies, including model construction, theory development, philosophical explication, and research. During this time nurses in the United States and around the world have helped to clarify, refine, and extend the model. Use of the model in practice and research has provided data to help validate the model (Andrews & Roy, 1991a; Roy, 1991a; Roy & Andrews, 1991, 1999; Roy &

McLeod, 1981).
Definitions of Person, Nursing, Health, and Environment
Person. Within the model, person (human) is described as a holistic adaptive system, which is in constant interaction with the...
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