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An exploration of self-constructs and stereotypes in people with learning disabilities and their relationship to self-esteem and emotional adjustment

Arnold, Tamsin; (1997) An exploration of self-constructs and stereotypes in people with learning disabilities and their relationship to self-esteem and emotional adjustment. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The way in which people with learning disabilities construe themselves and people with and without learning disabilities was investigated using the repertory grid technique. This is an assessment tool devised by Kelly (1955) as a means of exploring an individual's personal construct system. Relationships between a person's construing, the type of stereotype they hold of the learning disabled group, and their emotional adjustment were examined. Eleven elements were used in the repertory grid: two people with learning disabilities that the participant liked and two that they disliked; two people without learning disabilities that the participant liked and two that they disliked; the self; the social self (how others see them); and the stereotype of a person with learning disabilities (a person with learning disabilities in general). Emotional adjustment was explored using questionnaires that measure anger, depression, anxiety, and self-esteem. It was found that people with learning disabilities construed people with learning disabilities significantly more favourably and closer to the ideal self than non-disabled people. People with learning disabilities construed themselves significantly more negatively than they construed either people with learning disabilities, non-disabled people, the social self, or the stereotype of learning disabled people. People with learning disabilities tended to construe themselves as more similar to people with learning disabilities than to non-disabled people, although this trend was not significant. The distance of the "self' element from the preferred poles of constructs was found to be significantly negatively correlated with self-esteem, but not with any other measure of psychopathology. Depression and anxiety were found to be significantly correlated, as were depression and anxiety with low self-esteem. Other examinations of measures of emotional adjustment and their relationship to various aspects of construing did not reveal any significant associations.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: An exploration of self-constructs and stereotypes in people with learning disabilities and their relationship to self-esteem and emotional adjustment
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Emotional adjustment; Exploration; Learning disabilities; Self-constructs; Self-esteem; Stereotypes
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099379
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