Maslow's Theory of Needs
- Proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943
paper A Theory of Human Motivation.
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a motivational theory that
argues that while people aim to meet basic needs, they seek to
meet successively higher needs in the form of a hierarchy.
- Maslow's theoryhas been applied in nursing to guide the
prioritization of patient care needs
- It is often represented as a pyramid with five levels of
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a based on the theory that one
level of needs must be met before moving on to the next step.
- Self-actualization – e.g. morality,
creativity, problem solving.
- Esteem – e.g. confidence, self-esteem,
- Belongingness – e.g. love, friendship,
- Safety – e.g. security of environment,
employment, resources, health, property.
- Physiological – e.g. air, food, water,
sex, sleep, other factors towards homeostasis.
- Maslow’s theory maintains that a person does not feel a
higher need until the needs of the current level have been
Deficiency or deprivation
The first four levels are considered deficiency or deprivation
needs (“D-needs”) in that their lack of satisfaction
causes a deficiency that motivates people to meet these needs
Growth Needs or B-Needs or Being Needs
The needs Maslow believed to be higher, healthier, and
more likely to emerge in self-actualizing people were being needs,
Growth needs are the highest level, which is self-actualization,
or the self-fulfillment.
Maslow suggested that only two percent of the people in the
world achieve self actualization. E.g. Abraham Lincoln,
Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt.
Self actualized people were reality and problem
They enjoyed being by themselves, and having deeper
relationships with a few people instead of more shallow
relations with many people.
They tended to be spontaneous and simple.
- Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a useful organizational
framework that can be applied to the various nursing models
for assessment of a patient’s strengths, limitations, and need
for nursing interventions. (Smeltzer SC, Bare BG, 2004)
- Health Care Delivery and Nursing Practice. In Brunner &
Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing, (Edtrs.
Smeltzer SC, Bare BG.) 10th Edition. Lippincott Williams and
Wilkins. Philadelphia. 2003.
- Psychiatry, Third Edition. Edited by Allan Tasman, Jerald
Kay, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Michael B. First and Mario Maj.
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2008.
- Maslow, A. H.. A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological
Review, 50, 1943. pp. 370.