Self-Concept, Self-Esteem, Personality Traits and Psychopathological Symptoms in Adolescents with and without Visual Impairment

By Garaigordobil, Maite; Bernarás, Elena | The Spanish Journal of Psychology, January 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Self-Concept, Self-Esteem, Personality Traits and Psychopathological Symptoms in Adolescents with and without Visual Impairment


Garaigordobil, Maite, Bernarás, Elena, The Spanish Journal of Psychology


The purpose of this study was to analyze self-concept, self-esteem, and other personality traits and psychopathological symptoms in subjects with and without visual impairment. The sample was made up of 90 participants aged 12 to 17: 61 with no impairment and 29 with visual impairment. The ANOVA showed that there were no significant differences in self-concept and self-esteem in the samples, but the visually impaired adolescents scored significantly higher in various psychopathological symptoms as well as in their capacity for kind behavior. The ANOVA revealed no gender differences in any variables in adolescents without visual impairment. However, women with visual impairment scored lower in self-esteem and higher in various psychopathological symptoms. Pearson coefficients revealed negative relations between self-concept/self-esteem and all the psychopathological symptoms, and neuroticism, as well as a positive relation with extraversion. Low psychoticism, high extraversion, and low hostility were identified as predictors of high self-concept.

Keywords: visual impairment, self-concept, self-esteem, psychopathology, personality, gender differences

La finalidad del estudio fue analizar el autoconcepto, la autoestima, otros rasgos de personalidad y diversos síntomas psicopatológicos en personas con y sin discapacidad visual. La muestra estaba configurada con 90 participantes de 12 a 17 años, 61 sin discapacidad y 29 con discapacidad visual. El ANOVA no evidenció diferencias ni en el autoconcepto ni en la autoestima, sin embargo, los adolescentes con discapacidad visual tenían puntuaciones superiores en varios síntomas psicopatológicos así como en conductas de amabilidad. El ANOVA no reveló diferencias de género en ninguna variable en los adolescentes sin discapacidad, sin embargo, las chicas con discapacidad visual tenían puntuaciones significativamente inferiores en autoestima y superiores en varios síntomas psicopatológicos. Los coeficientes de Pearson mostraron relaciones negativas del autoconcepto y la autoestima con todos los síntomas psicopatológicos, y con neuroticismo, así como una relación positiva con extraversión. Bajo psicoticismo, alta extraversión, y baja hostilidad fueron identificados como predictores de alto autoconcepto.

Palabras clave: discapacidad visual, autoconcepto, autoestima, psicopatología, personalidad, diferencias de género

Visual capacity depends on several variables and includes aspects such as visual acuity and visual field, among others. In most cases, the most frequent pathologies usually affect one or more of these variables. Thus, the classification of visual impairment emerged, which is generally a function of the percentage of a person's lack of acuity or visual field. There are many definitions of blindness, although it is commonly defined as "absence of vision" or "lack of vision." But these definitions are not sufficiently clarifying. A person can be blind and perceive shadows, light spots, bulks and contours, which would differentiate him or her, for example, from a person with amaurosis or lack of perception of light. In practice, people who present functional visual vestiges within certain limits that are quantified in normative tables are considered blind and thus, the relevance of the concept of "legal blindness." For a person to be considered legally blind in Spain, he or she must have a visual acuity of 0.1% or a visual field equal to or less than 10? of the 180? of a person with normal vision. This concept of legal blindness is relevant when determining who can join the "Organización Nacional de Ciegos de España" (the "National Organization of Blind People in Spain"- ONCE) or who can benefit from pensions or certain aids. The CIE-10 (World Health Organization, 1992) considers blindness as visual acuity lower than 3/60 (0.05) or an equivalent loss of visual field in the best eye with the best correction possible (categories of visual deficiency 3, 4, and 5 of the CIE-10), which means a loss of vision of the person's environment. …

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