Aaron Antonovsky

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Aaron Antonovsky (1923–1994) was a medical sociologist. He grew up in the United States of America, but migrated to Israel in 1960, where his research earned him recognition in the field of medical sociology. He played an important role in establishing the medical school at Ben-Gurion University in Negev. In the 1970s, he established the salutogenetic model, which became a topic of discussion with the publication of his 1979 book Health, Stress and Coping. His conclusions were based on the discovery that former concentration camp victims were coping entirely differently with their situation. The salutogenic model, which comprises certain factors that combined would give a sense of coherency, focuses on health rather than sickness and disease, and a method based on this principle will focus on strengthening the weak areas as described in the model, rather than treating problem areas. The basic factors required to achieve the sense of coherency are:

  • Meaningfulness: The perception of life making sense - making coping in the situation a desirable result.
  • Manageability: The perception that one is equipped to handle a situation or seek out the necessary tools.
  • Comprehensibility: The perception of the world as understandable, logical and coherent, rather than chaotic.