Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 45–55 | Cite as

Psychosocial Adaptation to Chronic Illness and Disability: A Virtue Based Model

  • Jeong Han KimEmail author
  • Brian T. McMahon
  • Carolyn Hawley
  • Dana Brickham
  • Rene Gonzalez
  • Dong-Hun LeeEmail author


Purpose Psychosocial adaptation to chronic illness and disability (CID) is an area of study where a positive psychology perspective, especially the study of virtues and character strengths, can be implemented within the rehabilitation framework. A carefully developed theory to guide future interdisciplinary research is now timely. Methods A traditional literature review between philosophy and rehabilitation psychology was conducted in order to develop a virtue-based psychosocial adaptation theory, merging important perspectives from the fields of rehabilitation and positive psychology. Results The virtue-based psychosocial adaptation model (V-PAM) to CID is proposed in the present study. Conclusions The model involves five qualities or constructs: courage, practical wisdom, commitment to action, integrity and emotional transcendence. Each of these components of virtue contributes to an understanding of psychosocial adaptation. The present study addresses the implications and applications of V-PAM that will advance this understanding.


Virtue and character strengths Disability and rehabilitation Psychosocial adaptation Resilience Positive psychology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation CounselingVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Rehabilitation Counseling ProgramWestern Washington UniversityBellinghamUSA
  3. 3.School of Rehabilitation Services and CounselingThe University of Texas – Rio Grande ValleyEdinburgUSA
  4. 4.Counseling Psychology Program, Department of EducationSungkyunkwan UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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