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Nursing Theorist

This LibGuide can be used to access information relevant to prominent Nursing Theorists.



Dorothy E. Johnson
Behavioral System Model

Behavioral System Model

  • Focuses on how the client adapts to illness; the goal of nursing is to reduce stress so that the client can move more easily through recovery.
  • Viewed the patient’s behavior as a system, which is a whole with interacting parts.
  • The nursing process is viewed as a major tool.
  • To reduce stress so the client can recover as quickly as possible. According to Johnson, each person as a behavioral system is composed of seven subsystems namely:
    1. Ingestive. Taking in nourishment in socially and culturally acceptable ways.
    2. Eliminated. Riddling the body of waste in socially and culturally acceptable ways.
    3. Affiliative. Security seeking behavior.
    4. Aggressive. Self – protective behavior.
    5. Dependence. Nurturance – seeking behavior.
    6. Achievement. Master of oneself and one’s environment according to internalized standards of excellence.
    7. Sexual role identity behavior
  • In addition, she viewed that each person strives to achieve balance and stability both internally and externally and to function effectively by adjusting and adapting to environmental forces through learned pattern of response. Furthermore, She believed that the patient strives to become a person whose behavior is commensurate with social demands; who is able to modify his behavior in ways that support biologic imperatives; who is able to benefit to the fullest extent during illness from the health care professional’s knowledge and skills; and whose behavior does not give evidence of unnecessary trauma as a consequence of illness.


Subject Guide

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Joanna Russell Bliss
Dallas Library Center, T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences