Academic journal article Journal of Nursing Measurement

Development and Testing of the Resourcefulness Scale for Older Adults

Academic journal article Journal of Nursing Measurement

Development and Testing of the Resourcefulness Scale for Older Adults

Article excerpt

Resourcefulness is the ability to independently perform daily tasks (personal resourcefulness) and to seek help from others when unable to function independently (social resourcefulness). The 2 forms of resourcefulness are theoretically related, yet no current measure captures both simultaneously. This 2-phase study involved development and testing of a Resourcefulness Scale for elders from existing measures of personal and social resourcefulness. Data from 2 studies of 451 chronically ill elders were randomly split: the measure was developed in phase 1 and validated in phase 2. The new Resourcefulness Scale has acceptable internal consistency (α = .85). Two correlated subscales reflecting personal and social resourcefulness (r = .41) were confirmed. The Resourcefulness Scale has potential usefulness for older adults as well as younger and middle-aged adults.

Keywords: self-control; self-help; help-seeking; personal resourcefulness; social resourcefulness

Personal resourcefulness is defined as the ability to maintain independence in daily tasks despite potentially adverse situations (Rosenbaum, 1990) and social resourcefulness is defined as the ability to seek help from others when unable to function independently (Nadler, 1990). Personal resourcefulness involves the use of self-help strategies for coping with adversity or challenge, and social resourcefulness involves help-seeking from formal (i.e., professional) or informal (i.e., family or friends) sources (Zauszniewski, 1996, 2001, 2005). Both personal and social resourcefulness are important for health promotion and maintenance, especially in older adults (Zauszniewski, 1996, 2001, 2005). Indeed, elders with both personal and social resourcefulness skills have been found to have better daily functioning than those who have high personal resourcefulness skills alone or high social resourcefulness skills alone (Zauszniewski, 1996). Therefore, according to Zauszniewski (1996, 2005), personal and social resourcefulness should be viewed as two complementary dimensions, both of which are important for physical and psychological health.


Personal Resourcefulness

The cognitive-behavioral skills constituting personal resourcefulness facilitate the performance of daily activities despite the presence of disturbing thoughts, feelings, sensations, or impulses (Rosenbaum, 1990). Rosenbaum (1980, 1990), who termed these skills, used the term "learned resourcefulness," and noted three dimensions of this learned resourcefulness: redressive self-control (use of positive self-instructions for thought, mood, and pain control), reformative self-control (problem-solving strategies and postponement of the need for instant gratification), and belief in coping effectiveness (perceived self-efficacy). Redressive self-control is directed at resuming normal functioning that has been disrupted, while reformative self-control is directed at disrupting the customary way of functioning and adopting a new behavior (Rosenbaum, 1990). Perceived self-efficacy refers to self-evaluation of the ability to attain a desired goal.

The Self-Control Schedule (SCS) (Rosenbaum, 1980, 1990) is the most widely used measure of personal resourcefulness (Rosenbaum, 1990), particularly in older adults (Zauszniewski, 1997). The SCS for this study with permission of Dr. Rosenbaum consists of 36 Likert-type items. Using a 6-point scale, subjects indicate the degree to which each item describes their behavior, ranging from extremely descriptive to extremely nondescriptive; a higher score indicates greater resourcefulness. Internal consistency estimates have ranged from .78 to .96 in adults, including samples of elders (Kreulen & Braden, 2004; Rosenbaum, 1990; Weisenberg, Wolf, Mittwoch, & Mikulincer, 1990; Zauszniewski, 1995, 1997; Zauszniewski, McDonald, Krafcik, & Chung, 2002). As would be expected, the SCS is moderately associated with locus of control, religious orientation, anxiety (Rosenbaum, 1990), depressive cognitions, and psychosocial attributes (Zauszniewski, 1997), supporting its construct validity. …

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