Running head: HUMAN BECOMING THEORY 1 Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming: Theory Critique Essay (Student’s Name) (Course Code/Number) (Name of Professor) (Date of Submission)
HUMAN BECOMING THEORY 2 Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming: Theory Critique Essay Abstract Theories are a valuable aspect of the nursing profession, providing a sound basis forpractice and nursing care. One other theory that has become influential in the field of nursing isRosemarie Rizzo Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming. However, in order for a theory to beaccepted, it must pass a series of criteria and testing. In relation, this paper then involved anexploration of a theory, specifically Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming. In terms of significance, Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming is significant in the sensethat it is able to address the issues of the society in terms of human need for independence,autonomy, and participation with patient care. Parse’s Human Becoming theory is also internallyconsistent, since it was able to be faithful to its definitions, especially of human becoming. Thetheory was also able to clearly define its terms and concepts. However, in terms of structuralconsistency, Parse’s theory may have its weaknesses. For parsimony, Parse’s Theory of HumanBecoming involves an alternative way of dealing with patient care by integrating the patient andfamily’s own perceptions of their situation, it can be seen that the theory can get high marks interms of parsimony. In terms of testability, the theory provided little means by which it can bemeasured or analyzed. For empirical adequacy, the theory’s empirical adequacy is somethingthat has been tried and tested in numerous researches. Finally, for pragmatic adequacy, theHuman Becoming theory is not really compatible with the Nursing Process, since the theory doesnot seek to solve problems, but only to understand them.
HUMAN BECOMING THEORY 3 Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming: Theory Critique Essay Introduction Theories are a valuable aspect of the nursing profession, providing a sound basis forpractice and nursing care. Numerous theories have served as the foundation theories of nursing,such as Nightingale’s Environmental Theory. One other theory that has become influential in thefield of nursing is Rosemarie Rizzo Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming. However, in order fora theory to be accepted, it must pass a series of criteria and testing. In relation, this paper willthen involve an exploration of a theory, specifically Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming. Abackground or summary of the theory will be first presented, followed by the analysis of theempiric basis of the theory in terms of significance, internal consistency, parsimony, testability,empirical adequacy, and pragmatic adequacy, as recommended by Fawcett (2005). Background of the Theory Parse developed her theory of nursing by combining and synthesizing the differentconcepts from existentialist-phenomenological thoughts and from Martha Rogers. By analyzingthe said concepts, she then provided nine major concepts that served as the main principles of thetheory of Human Becoming. These nine principles are actually assumptions about man and aboutthe process of becoming. The said nine principles are summarized below. “The Human Becoming Theory assumes the following about man: a) The human being is coexistent while con-constituting rhythmical patterns with the universe, b) The human being is open, freely choosing meaning in a situation, as well as bearing responsibility for made decisions, c) The human being is unitary, and continuously co-creating patterns of relaxing, and d) The human being is multi-
HUMAN BECOMING THEORY 4 dimensionally with the possibilities. [Moreover], The Human Becoming Theory assumes the following about becoming: a) Becoming is unitary with human- living-health, b) Becoming involves rhythmically con-constituting the human- universe process, c) Becoming is the human being’s patterns of relating value priorities, d) Becoming is an intersubjective process of transcending with the possibilities, and e) Becoming is the unitary human’s emerging” (Kozier, Erb, Berman, Snyder, Lake, et al., 2008, p.32). From these nine principles, three main themes can be observed or deduced. These themesrelate to, or can be summarized into: a) meaning, b) rhythmicity, and c) transcendence. Still, eachtheme also leads to expands into another related theme. For example, according to George(2010), “meaning” relates to the creation or learning of language, to valuing, and to imagining,while rhythmicity relates to connecting-separating, enabling-limiting, and revealing-concealing.On the other hand, transcendence relates to transforming, originating, and powering. Each of themain themes come with different processes and mechanisms for nursing care. In terms of application or significance, Parse’s theory of Human Becoming assists thenurse in focusing on the quality of life of the patient by presenting an alternative to thetraditional pharmacological approach of modern medicine, and to the bio-psycho-social-spiritualapproach of other models and theories of nursing. In addition, this theory makes it possible forthe nurse to assess the patient in such a way that the patient participates in the whole process bybeing the one to rate his/her quality of life from his/her own perspective. First termed as “Man-living-health Theory” in 1981, the Human Becoming theory also involves the Totality Paradigm,wherein man is viewed as a result of the interaction of different spiritual, sociological,psychological, biological, and other factors (Parse, 1992).
HUMAN BECOMING THEORY 5 Analysis of Empiric Basis of TheorySignificance According to Fawcett (2005), significance involves the degree by which the theory has avital use or contribution to the field it belongs to. Significance can be divided into two: socialsignificance and theoretical significance. A theory is socially significant if it is able to address orsolve a problem that is of interest to society. On the other hand, a theory is theoreticallysignificant if it is able to address a phenomenon that is of interest to the discipline it is supposedto cover. The theory achieves such by filling or extending gaps in a pre-existing theory regardinga phenomenon or subject. For Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming, significance can be seen in the fact that it isable to address the issues of the society in terms of human need for independence, autonomy, andparticipation with patient care. Indeed, in the study by (Duteau, 2010), the Human Becomingtheory was revealed to be a valuable guide for the practitioner to understand the actualexperiences of the patient and his significant others. It was also an invaluable tool in helping thepatient and the family to transcend their personal concepts of pain and loss. In addition, the saidtheory is also significant theoretically because it was able to address the gaps in Martha Roger’sTheory on the Unitary Human Being.Internal Consistency As discussed by Fawcett (2005), internal consistency involves the clarity as well as theconsistency of the provisions of the theory. Three main concepts fall under this criteria, namely,structural consistency, semantic consistency, and semantic clarity. A theory is said to bestructurally consistent when its concepts are measured accurately, when there are no violations ofinductive or deductive reasoning, when there are no redundancies in the theory, and when the
HUMAN BECOMING THEORY 6linkages among the different concepts are accurate as well. In addition, a theory is said to besemantically consistent when it consistently uses the same terms and the same definitions for aconcept all throughout the discussion of the theory. More importantly, a theory is considered tobe semantically clear when all its significant concepts and ideas are clearly defined, bothoperationally and theoretically. For Parse’s Human Becoming theory, internal consistency is something that can beobserved, although later revisions on the theory may need further discussions. In terms ofsemantic clarity and consistency, the theory was able to be faithful to its definitions, especially ofhuman becoming. The theory was also able to clearly define its terms and concepts. However, interms of structural consistency, Parse’s theory may have its weaknesses. Indeed, although thetheory had no violations of inductive or deductive reasoning and it had but little redundancies inthe theory, it was not able to provide a clear way by which its concepts can be measuredaccurately. Also, some of the linkages in the different concepts of the theory were not accuratelyrelated to one another.Parsimony Another significant criterion for analyzing a theory is Parsimony. Fawcett (2005)discussed that Parsimony involves the simplest structure that can explain completely thephenomenon the theory is concerned about. It also involves the simplest theory that accounts forthe most known observation. Since Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming involves an alternativeway of dealing with patient care by integrating the patient and family’s own perceptions of theirsituation, it can be seen that the theory can get high marks in terms of parsimony. It is a rathersimple theory, and Parse’s summarization of the nine concepts of human becoming made iteasier to understand. However, what made the theory somehow complicated are the terms chosen
HUMAN BECOMING THEORY 7by Parse to describe the different principles. This is especially in view of the fact that mostnursing practitioners prefer hard facts ad science especially over terms like spirituality and theUniverse. Nonetheless, the theory is able to simply explain the concept of patient need and care.Testability According to Fawcett (2005), testability is a criterion for analyzing theories, and itinvolves the degree by which propositions and concepts of the theory can be empirically tested.A theory is considered testable if it can be observed and measured empirically, or if itsprovisions and propositions can be quantified or measured, and if the hypothesis it promotes canbe falsified. For Parse’s Human Becoming Theory, its original version provided little means bywhich it can be measured or analyzed. However, later versions of the theory have allowed for amore empirical observation of its application in the field of practice. This is especially true whenParse introduced an aspect of the theory that guided not only nursing practice but also nursingresearch. The theory provided different aspects and parameters in which it can be measured, suchas meaning, rhythmicity and transcendence, as well as illimitability, paradox, and freedom.Empirical Adequacy Fawcett (2005) stated that empirical adequacy is a criterion that requires that the theoryshould be congruent with empirical evidences derived from research. In research, if the results ofscientific studies do not meet the hypothesis of the theory, then it goes to follow that the saidhypothesis is false. Conversely, if the results of empirical studies agree with the hypotheses ofthe theory, then it can be said that the hypothesis of the study is to be accepted. Moreimportantly, in addressing this criterion, it should be questioned whether the theory has actuallybeen applied in research, and whether the results agree with the hypothesis of the theory. Itshould also be assessed if there is a body of research that indicates empirical adequacy.
HUMAN BECOMING THEORY 8 For the case of Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming, empirical adequacy is somethingthat has been tried and tested in numerous researches. Different phenomenological andqualitative studies have proven the applicability on nursing care and research of the conceptsprovided by the theory. However, a great issue with the theory is that it does not provide actualsolutions to a specific problem. Although the theory provides an alternative method of nursingcare where it is the patient who makes the decision, no actual interventions or solutions areprovided. It is for this reason that although the theory may seem empirically adequate, the studiesthat do utilized the Human Becoming Theory have numerous limitations and do not really usethe theory as an intervention but rather, more of an approach for analyzing facts and data.Pragmatic Adequacy Pragmatic adequacy, on the other hand, involves the actual applicability of the theory andits principles. Unlike empirical adequacy which asks for the support of research on the theory,pragmatic adequacy asks for the application of the theory in the field. In assessing a theory’spragmatic adequacy, Fawcett (2005) discussed that a question should be asked as to how thetheory can be actually applied in nursing practice. Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming provides a valuable way of dealing with patients insuch a way that the patient becomes an active participant in the care planning process, and notjust a recipient. However, George (2010) mentioned that in terms of practice, the humanBecoming theory is not really compatible with the Nursing Process, since the theory does notseek to solve problems, but only to understand them. In a way, this can be beneficial for thepatient since the theory removes the paternalistic approach of the traditional Nursing Process.However, it can become a complication for the nurse since she would not have a solid directionor plan for the actual care of the patient, and nursing care can then be compromised.
HUMAN BECOMING THEORY 9 BibliographyDuteau, J. (2010). Understanding the lived experience of loss and grieving in persons with end stage renal disease: A humanbecoming approach. The CANNT (Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologists) Journal , 20 (2), 18-22.Fawcett, J. (2005). Criteria for Evaluation of Nursing Theory. Nurs Sci Q , 18, 13.George, J. B. (2010). Nursing Theories. New York: Pearson Education, Inc.,.Kozier, B., Erb, G. L., Berman, A., Snyder, S., Lake, R., & et al., .. (2008). Fundamentals of nursing : concepts, process and practice. Harlow: Pearson Education.Parse, R. R. (1992). Human Becoming: Parses Theory of Nursing. Nurs Sci Q , 5 (1), 35-42.