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a pattern of behavior developed in response to the demands or expectations of others; the pattern of responses to the persons with whom an individual interacts in a particular situation.
gender role the public expression of gender; the image projected by a person that identifies their maleness or femaleness, which need not correspond to their gender identity.
impaired role the role played by a person who is disabled or chronically ill and who is experiencing a state of wellness and realization of potential commensurate with the condition. Unlike the sick person, the impaired person cannot be expected to “want to get well” but is expected to resume as much normal behavior as is possible.
sick role the role played by a person who has defined himself or herself as ill, with or without validation of the role by health care providers or family members. Adoption of the sick role changes the behavioral expectations of others toward sick persons. They are exempted from normal social responsibilities and not held responsible for the condition; they are obliged to “want to get well” and to seek competent medical help. The sick role also involves behavioral changes, including increased attention to the body and bodily functions, regression (increase in dependent behavior), narrowing of interests, and emotional overreactions.