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Social Rejection in Adolescents With a Visible Facial Disfigurement: A Qualitative Study

Beak, S; (2015) Social Rejection in Adolescents With a Visible Facial Disfigurement: A Qualitative Study. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Much of the research focusing on the difficulties experienced by young people with a visible facial disfigurement (VFD) has focused on the view from the outside (social/cultural views towards disfigurement) and the view from the inside (the psychological impact of living with a VFD). Part 1 presents a review of the literature on the attitudes of non-disfigured children towards individuals with a VFD. Sixteen studies were included in this review following a systematic search of the literature. Overall, results indicated that non-disfigured children demonstrate a negative bias towards individuals with a VFD. Part 2 presents a qualitative study which explored the lived experiences of young people with a VFD, specifically focusing on their peer relationships and experiences of social rejection relating to their appearance. Semi-structured interviews were completed with 10 adolescents (aged 11-14 years) with a range of congenital VFDs and analysed using thematic analysis. All young people described experiencing negative and unwanted attention from others. Many identified positively with their disfigured appearance and saw it as a part of who they were. In spite of this, the majority of young people did not wish to have a VFD for the rest of their lives. Part 3 presents a critical appraisal of the qualitative study. It explores the possible barriers to engaging young people in research and considers the unique contributions made by this study in considering the focus on psychopathology in the existing literature on young people with VFDs and in understanding the heterogeneity reported by this population.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Social Rejection in Adolescents With a Visible Facial Disfigurement: A Qualitative Study
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Disfigurement, visible difference, social rejection, peer relationships.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471140
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