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Modern Models of Psychosocial Adaptation to Chronic Illness and Disability as Viewed Through the Prism of Lewin's Field Theory: A Comparative Review

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Purpose: In this article, we describe how four recent models of psychosocial adaptation to chronic illness and disability (CID) could be fruitfully conceptualized and compared by resorting to the general framework of Lewin's field theory—a theory frequently regarded as a precursor and the primary impetus to the development of the field of somatopsychology.

Method: Based on a comprehensive literature review and theoretical integration, we have provided the reader with a brief review of Lewin's field theory and its applications to rehabilitation and psychosocial adaptation to CID, highlighted the main components of the four models of psychosocial adaptation to CID, and reviewed the models through the theoretical lens of Lewin's theory.

Results: Lewin's field theory provides a robust and viable theory to conceptualize psychosocial adjustment for CID. Research and clinical implications to practicing rehabilitation counselors and researchers based on the conceptual and practical synergy formed through the understanding of psychosocial adaptation to CID within Lewin's theoretical framework have also been provided.

Conclusions: Lewin's field theory provides a theoretical framework for understanding research and clinical implications related to psychosocial adaptation for individuals with CID.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2014

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