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You are here : Home > Library > Resilience > Definitions/Theories > 2008 > Dunn, D.S., Brody, C. (2008) Defining the good life following acquired (...)

Dunn, D.S., Brody, C. (2008) Defining the good life following acquired physical disability, Rehabilitation Psychology, 53:4, 413-425.

The objective of this article is to provide empirical and theoretical perspective on what attitudes and behaviours could constitute living a good life following acquired physical disability. We define the term “the good life”; briefly examine the construct’s role in philosophy, history, and positive psychology; and then suggest links to rehabilitation psychology. We review variables presumed to be both predictive of and important to living well, noting that relatively few have pronounced effects on well-being. Across time, people tend to adapt to both positive and negative events. Following the onset of disability, however, people do not necessarily return to their baseline levels of well-being. To live a good life with disability, we illustrate some choices and actions that individuals can take within three defining areas: making connections with others, developing positive traits, and enacting life regulation qualities. We conclude by suggesting how understanding the nature of the good life following disability onset can inform rehabilitation theory and therapy, and aid clients and families.

Author Keywords: the good life; happiness; well-being; rehabilitation; acquired physical disability