Theoretical Substruction Illustrated by the Theory of Learned Resourcefulness (journal article)

Abir K. Bekhet, Marquette University
Jaclene A. Zauszniewski, Case Western Reserve University

Research and Theory for Nursing Practice, Vol. 22, No. 3 (2008): 205-214. DOI.


This article describes the process of theoretical substruction and uses this process to examine the significance of Rosenbaum's resourcefulness theory for nursing research and practice. The article discusses relocation as a phenomenon of interest to gero-psychiatric nurses working with elders who have relocated to retirement communities, illustrated by the theory of learned resourcefulness. The literature was reviewed to assess the congruence between the theoretical and operational systems suggested by Rosenbaum's resourcefulness theory. A model of learned resourcefulness is presented that includes middle-range concepts, relational statements, and propositions derived from the research literature. Theoretical substruction provides a mechanism for testing middle-range theories that may contribute to nursing knowledge development.