Fundamentals Theorists

Sister Callista Roy

Roy’s Adaptation Model

Sister Callista Roy’s adaptation model, originating in 1970, is widely used by nurse educators, researchers, and practitioners. Roy focuses on the individual as a biopsychosocial adaptive system. Both the individual and the environment are sources of stimuli that require modification to promote adaptation, an ongoing purposive response. Adaptive responses contribute to health, the process of being and becoming integrated; ineffective or maladaptive responses do not.

As an  open system, an individual recieves inputs or stimuli from both the self and the environment. Roy identifies three classes of stimuli:

  1. Focal stimulus – the internal or external stimulus most immediately confronting the person and contributing to behavior
  2. Contextual stimuli – all other internal or external stimuli present
  3. Residual stimuli – beliefs, attitudes, or traits having an indeterminate effect on the person’s behavior but whose effects are no validated.

Roy’s adaptive system consists of two interrelated subsystems:

  1. The primary subsystem – is a functional or internal control process that consists of the regulator and the cognator. The regulator processes input automatically through neural-chemical-endocrine channels. The cognator processes input through cognitive pathways, such as perception, information processing, learning, judgment, and emotions. Roy views the regulator and cognator as methods of coping.
  2. The secondary subsystem – is an effector system that manifests cognator and regulator activity. It consists of four adaptive modes:
  • The physiologic mode involves the body’s basic physiologic needs and ways of adapting in regard to fluid and electrolytes, activity and rest, circulation ans oxygen, nutrition and elimination, protection, the senses, and neurologic and endocrine function.
  • The self-concept mode includes two components: the physical self, which involves sensation and body image, and the personal self, which involves self-ideal, self-consistency, and the moral-ethical self.
  • The role function mode is determined by the need for social integrity and refers to the performance of duties based on given positions within the society.
  • The interdependence mode involves one’s relations with significant others and support systems that provide help, affection, and attention.

Kozier, Barbara Fundamentals of Nursing 5th edition

Addison-Wesley Publishing  Company, Inc. pp.51-52