Cocept Analysis: Adaptation

Topics: Nursing, Adaptation, Nursing theory Pages: 7 (2237 words) Published: March 24, 2013
The Concept of Adaptation
Using Sis. Callista Roy's Model of Adaptation
A Concept Analysis

St. Augustine's College

Exploring the Concept of Adaptation
Adaptation has long been described as one of the mean tools of human and animal survival. A chameleon changes its color to hide from a predator, a child becomes withdrawn to deal with the death of a loved one or a soldier learns how to walk with a prosthetic limb after the traumatic amputation of a leg due to injury. All of these situations describe a form of adaptation on behalf of the individual in order to deal with a stressful situation. According to Sister Callista Roy (2009)” adaptation is the process and outcome whereby thinking and feeling persons as individuals or in groups use conscious awareness and choice to create human and environmental integration” (McEwen & Wills, 2011). The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of adaptation in the hope to bring clarification to the use of the term in nursing research and practice. This will be done in the form of a concept analysis. A concept analysis is the rigorous process of bringing clarity to the definition of the concepts used in science (McEwen & Wills, 2011). The concept analysis process of Walker and Avant (2005) includes selection of a concept, determining the aims or purpose of the concept, identifying all the possible uses of the concept, determining the defining attributes, identification of model cases: identifying borderline, related, contrary, invented and illegitimate cases, identifying antecedents, consequences and lastly defining the empirical referents (McEwen & Wills, 2011). The concept analysis process is important because most of nursing theory has been based on concepts adopted from other disciplines, so it is necessary to explore these concepts to discover their relevance to the nursing profession (McEwen & Wills, 2011).

Aim of the Analysis
The aim of this concept analysis of adaptation is to discover what descriptors of this concept make it more relevant to nursing practice and research. As pointed out by Rodgers and Knafl (2000) the value of discussing concepts is to promote the clarification and refinement of an idea that is intended to contribute to the problem solving efforts of a discipline (Holden, 2005). Literature Review of the Theory Adaptation

Taylor’s (1983) cognitive adaptation theory states that individuals use positive thought processes as a form of adapting to stressful circumstances. Engaging in mildly positive self-relevant distortions enables an individual to maintain an optimistic outlook, enhance self-esteem and encourage a sense of mastery when facing a threatening event (Henselmans et al., 2009). Taylor proposes that these positive thoughts give an individual a sense of control which will then force the individual to take constructive action when dealing with a stressful situation.

Schkade and Schultz (1992) in their occupational adaptation theory proposed that there is a normal process that individuals go through as they strive for competency on their jobs. There is an interaction with the environment that drives the individual to attain mastery over work related challenges. In this process the individual evaluates their responses to the challenges based on an internal sense of effectiveness or satisfaction. The self-assessment phase is the only means of evaluating the level of adaptation in this theory.

Charmaz (1995) proposed that adaptation for most people is a gradual process of evolution where an altered individual changes to accommodate bodily and functional loss (Livneh & Parker, 2005). The changes in the individuals result from a recognition of a loss of their former self -image and the adaptation only comes about after that realization.

Yoshida (1993) believes that adaptation through identity reconstruction only comes about after the individual struggles between their identity as a disabled person and...

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Cunningham, D. A. (2005). Adaptation of Roy’s adaptation model when caring for a group of women coping with menopause. Journal of Community Health Nursing 19(1), 49-60
Henselmans, I., Sanderman, R., Helgeson, S
Holden, L. M. (2005). Complex adaptive systems: Concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing 52 (6) 651-657
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Lorre, G. A., Schkade, J. K., & Ishee, J. H. (2004). Content validity of the relative mastery measurement scale: A measure of occupational adaptation. Occupational, Participation and Health 24 (3)
McEwen, M., & Wills, E (2013). Adaptation. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved from
Stiegelis, H
What is Adaptation? (2008) Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved from:
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