Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Psychology


Antonovsky (1979; 1987c) suggested thai the dominant paradigm in the study of health and illness has been pathogenic, that is, that it has emphasised the explanation of the causes of pathology. Antonovsky believed that there was a need for a new paradigm, that explained the causes of health. Antonovsky presented a model within the new paradigm. He called this model the Theory of Sense of Coherence. The dominant paradigm in the study of the psychology of spinal cord injury has similarly been pathogenic. In much of the literature on spinal cord injury it has been assumed that negative cognitions and affects are a normal consequence of spinal cord inju.ry. There has been little research on successful adaptation to spinal cord injury, or on resilience following a spinal cord injury. The research described in this report was designed to study some aspects of successful adaptation to spinal cord injury, including testing some predictions from the theory of sense of coherence.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.