Adjustment to spinal cord injury: stage theory revisited Academic Article uri icon


  • To better understand adjustment following spinal cord injury (SCI), 106 subjects from two samples (N = 53 each) were administered the SCL-90-R, a symptom checklist, and the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control scales. Sample 1 subjects were admitted for rehabilitation during 1981 to 1982 and sample 2 subjects were admitted during 1984 to 1986. Sample 2 subjects entered rehabilitation programs more quickly after injury and reported more anxiety, phobic anxiety, and hostility than sample 1 subjects. Within each sample, there was no evidence for a relationship between age or time since injury and health beliefs or psychological distress. This study does not support stage theory for adjustment after catastrophic injury, but does suggest the importance of understanding the impact of social policy changes in adjustment following spinal cord injury.

author list (cited authors)

  • Buckelew, S. P., Frank, R. G., Elliott, T. R., Chaney, J., & Hewett, J.

citation count

  • 31

publication date

  • February 1991