Self-Evaluation and Self-Concept of Adolescents With Physical Disabilities Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Abstract Fifty-three adolescents aged 14 to 18 years with diagnoses of cerebral palsy (n = 27), cleft lip or palate or both (n = 17), or spina bifida (n = 9) took part in this study examining their self-esteem, self-concept, self-acceptance, social self-efficacy, and values, as measured by standardized instruments. Comparisons were made separately for males and females with norms developed for adolescents without disabilities. Significant differences were found only on several aspects of self-concept: females with physical disabilities were lower in perceived social acceptance, athletic competence, and romantic appeal than the normative sample, and males with physical disabilities were lower in perceived scholastic competence, athletic competence, and romantic appeal. In addition, social self-efficacy was found to be a significant predictor of both independence and persistence in adolescents with disabilities, who were significantly less independent and persistent than were normative samples. The discussion focuses on the usefulness of the findings regarding social self-efficacy and the implications of the findings for occupational therapists.


  • King, Gillian
  • Shultz, Izabela Z
  • Steel, Kathleen
  • Gilpin, Michelle
  • Cathers, Tamzin

publication date

  • February 1, 1993