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J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2014 Apr;21(3):280-7. doi: 10.1111/jpm.12087. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Personal beliefs, learned resourcefulness, and adaptive functioning in depressed adults.

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School of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.


Learned resourcefulness and personal beliefs are significant predictors of adaptive functioning. The mediating effect of personal beliefs on the relationship between learned resourcefulness and adaptive functioning was validated in adults with depression. The findings from this study may provide the basis for developing a useful nursing intervention constituting resourcefulness skills with positive personal beliefs to help patients with depression improve their ability to function well in their daily activities.


Research has shown that patients with depression have difficulty with performing daily tasks and meeting their own personal care needs. According to Beck's cognitive theory of depression, such deficits in adaptive functioning are affected by disturbances in specific personal beliefs that reflect the process of regulating cognitions. Rosenbaum's learned resourcefulness theory proposed that adaptive functioning is influenced by learned resourcefulness, while learned resourcefulness is associated with the process regulating cognitions. This study aims to test the mediating effect of personal beliefs on the relationship between resourcefulness and adaptive functioning. The study involved a cross-sectional design. Participants consisted of 187 adults with depression in southern Taiwan. The data were collected through four instruments: Cognitive Triad Inventory, Self-Control Schedule, modified Community Living Skills Scale, and a demographic questionnaire. Both resourcefulness and personal beliefs were significant predictors of adaptive functioning, and personal beliefs mediated the effect of learned resourcefulness on the adaptive functioning of the adults with depression. The results validate the role played by personal beliefs in effecting learned resourcefulness and adaptive functioning among adults with depression and provide direction for designing nursing interventions that consider personal beliefs when teaching resourcefulness skills to adults with depression.


adaptive functioning; depression; learned resourcefulness; personal beliefs

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