Dorothy Johnson’s Behavior System Model

Nursing models incorporate fundamental concepts and principles about nursing and thus may serve as guidelines for medical students. However, when being confronted with different theories that seem to be vague, excessively generalized, or rather irrelevant to nursing practice, students may experience confusion. Therefore, Orem states that in such a case, it is suggested to search not only for the clear meaning but also for the one that is hidden.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

This will enable a person to gain a deeper insight into the author’s argument and understand his or her position from multiple perspectives. When reflecting on the author’s words, it is crucial to assess both implicit and explicit attitudes. The given essay discusses Dorothy Johnson’s Behavior System Model from Orem’s perspective.

Dorothy E. Johnson is one of the greatest nursing theorists who made her way from a nurse to a professor of nursing at the University of California in Los Angeles (“Dorothy Johnson,” n.d.) Behavior System Model was first proposed by Dorothy Johnson in 1968 (Ghanbari & Pouy, 2018). The woman’s main premise is that the basic and the most important aim of nursing is helping people stay healthy and prevent them from diseases.

Therefore, nursing is a profession that makes a difference in human lives and significantly contributes to the welfare of society. The theory advocates the fostering of effective behavioral functioning in the patient as the main contributor to his or her wellness. According to Johnson, each person has a behavioral system determined by his or her patterned ways of acting (Ghanbari & Pouy, 2018).

Her theory focuses on how a person adapts to illness and how the ability to adapt is modified by the potential stress. Views of human beings defined by Johnson are rather expressed than implied, which makes the theory easy for general understanding.

Reflecting on the theory, I can say that it resonates with me. Just like physicians who rely on the human biological system as their base of knowledge, nurses should rely on the behavioral system of a person. Johnson’s theory is logical and simple; it uses interrelated concepts to explain its underlying principles. The theory represents nursing both as a science and an art and relies on Nightingale’s nursing metaparadigm. One may note that Johnson incorporates into her thoughts and ideas nursing-specific views of human beings since the woman conceptualizes human properties and powers investigated in nursing science. In particular, Johnson categorizes all human behaviors into seven subsystems and states that this would be of help when predicting and preventing some of them.

Dorothy Johnson and Dorothea Orem utilize a nursing-specific approach in their theories, considering that people always have a demand for being taken care of and thus should be viewed from the nursing point of view. However, if Johnson discusses how patients should be cared for depending on their behavior patterns, Orem highlights that patients should take care of themselves first of all (Orem, 1997). In her theory, Orem explains the constant demand for nursing as the consequence of self-care deficit, while Johnson only theorizes how this demand may be best fulfilled.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

To my mind, it is a nursing-specific approach that best supports the development of nursing science. That is because the approach views human beings as dynamic organisms that exist in their natural environment and are always in the process of development. One may note that the nursing-specific method is concentrated on obtaining practical results in order to gain knowledge that could contribute to gaining more insights into a practical science.


Dorothy Johnson. (n.d.). Web.

Ghanbari, A., & Pouy, S. (2018). Designing nursing care program based on Johnson behavioral model in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A case study. International Journal of Caring Science, 11(1), 631-638.

Orem, D. E. (1997). Views of human beings specific to nursing. Nursing Science Quarterly, 10(1), 26-31.

Print Сite this

Cite this paper

Select style


StudyCorgi. (2021, July 9). Dorothy Johnson’s Behavior System Model. Retrieved from

Work Cited

"Dorothy Johnson’s Behavior System Model." StudyCorgi, 9 July 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Dorothy Johnson’s Behavior System Model." July 9, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Dorothy Johnson’s Behavior System Model." July 9, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Dorothy Johnson’s Behavior System Model." July 9, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Dorothy Johnson’s Behavior System Model'. 9 July.

Copy to clipboard

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.

Psst... Stuck with your
assignment? 😱
Psst... Stuck with your assignment? 😱
Do you need an essay to be done?
What type of assignment 📝 do you need?
How many pages (words) do you need? Let's see if we can help you!