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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1991 Oct;61(4):608-13.

Negotiating reality after physical loss: hope, depression, and disability.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23284-2018.


The utility of different reality negotiation strategies among 57 persons who had traumatically acquired severe physical disabilities was examined. It was predicted that a sense of goal-directed determination ("agency"; Snyder, 1989) would predict lower depression and psychosocial impairment scores soon after injury. To meet the demands of rehabilitation and social integration, however, it was hypothesized that a sense of ability to find ways to meet goals ("pathways") would predict lower depression and psychosocial impairment among persons who had been disabled for a longer period. The expected interaction was significant in the prediction of psychosocial impairment but not of depression. The sense of pathways was predictive of impairment and depression regardless of the time since injury. Results suggest that in the reality negotiation process the different components of hope as defined by Snyder have salient effects on perceptions of ability to function in social capacities.

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