A model of health and viability, as influenced by a wide variety of psychosocial variables, is presented. This model is based on the principle that illness and death sometimes serve an evolutionary function by maximizing natural selection prospects of other group members. Thus, evolutionary viability within the social context (personal contribution to one's social network) is a crucial health factor; life events, life style determiners, control perceptions, and viability emotions are other important concepts within the model. This model points to the possibility that the full scope of clinical practice may require assisting patients in regaining a sense of viability; nursing may be particularly relevant to this need because of the opportunity for intense interpersonal contact with patients.
© 1984 Aspen Publishers, Inc.