1. Mullins, Iris L. PhD, RN

Article Content

Lorraine O. Walker and Kay C. Avant. Upper Saddle River, NJ, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005. $50.95. ISBN 0-13-119126-8. 227 pp.


In this new edition of their book, Walker and Avant provide an updated discussion of theory construction. This book will be useful for graduate students in nursing and master's prepared nurses, such as clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, and other advanced practice nurses, who are interested in theory development around phenomena relevant to their practice. Nurses prepared at the doctoral level will also find the text useful in basic theory development. The text may also be useful to other human studies disciplines interested in theory construction.


The purpose of the book is to provide strategies that can be used in the development of theory. The scope of this book allows the reader to begin theory construction by determining the pertinent concept through processes such as synthesis, derivation, and analysis that are relevant to the phenomenon of interest. The next step in theory development is writing relational statements about the concepts through processes of statement synthesis, derivation, and analysis. Theory development is next addressed through theory synthesis, derivation, and analysis. In each of these steps, the authors provide the reader with diagrams and/or illustrations, examples, and practice exercises. Appropriate references, including recent and classic articles, are provided for the reader if further information is needed. The book content is very similar to the 1988 and 1995 versions, but the current edition has been updated, is well written, and is more concise than the previous editions. Similar texts available do not provide information solely focused at developing theory to the extent that it is provided in this text.


The content is organized from simple to complex. The text provides information in an approach that brings together ideas about theory construction from an interdisciplinary focus. This is particularly useful because nursing is interested in phenomena that are of interest to other disciplines.