Attributions and disability acceptance following traumatic injury: a replication and extension

Allen Walter Heinemann, M. Bulka, S. Smetak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Bulman and Wortman's research (1977) on attributions and coping was extended by examining the long term attributions of responsibility for traumatic injury, means of coping, and injury acceptance. Participants were 52 National Spinal Cord Injury Association members with quadriplegia of at least one year duration. Participants were asked about coping strategies, attribution of responsibility, and meaning ascribed to injury. The same instruments used by Bulman and Wortman were used here, except that Linkowski's Acceptance of Disability Scale was substituted for therapists' ratings. Disability acceptance was predicted by younger age, greater time since injury, and the absence of maladaptive coping strategies such as drinking. Disability acceptance was not predicted by beliefs in a just world, perceiving oneself as responsible for events, answering 'why me?,' and religiosity. This study suggests that the process of injury acceptance extends over a considerable period of time. A gradual process of coming to terms with loss appears to be more important than the specific attributions made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-206
Number of pages12
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Attributions and disability acceptance following traumatic injury: a replication and extension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this