Alterations in self-perceptions following childhood onset of spinal cord injury

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Most research into psychological aspects of spinal cord injury (SCI) has focused on adult onset. This is a retrospective study of self-perceptions following a childhood onset of SCI. Self-esteem, depression and self-perception were examined in 86 people who had a traumatic SCI before the age of 16. Depression was measured using the Beck Depression Inventory, and self-esteem using the Culture-Free Self-Esteem Inventory Self-perception was measured using a scale developed for this study, consisting of 20 adjectives, with participants themselves on dimensions of `As I am', `As I would be without the injury', and `as I would be ideally'. The participants' self perceptions of the injured self and the uninjured self were found to be significantly different on only nine of the 20 adjectives. Low self-perception was found to be associated with low self-esteem and high depression levels, but independent of age at injury, level of injury and gender. The change noted by the participants between how they see themselves now and how they would have been without the injury is not as great as might have been expected.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Pages (from-to)181-185
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 13 Mar 1998


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