A qualitative study of the experiences of people who identify themselves as having adjusted positively to a visible difference
Egan, K. , Harcourt, D. and Rumsey, N. (2011) A qualitative study of the experiences of people who identify themselves as having adjusted positively to a visible difference. Journal of Health Psychology, 16 (5). pp. 739-749. ISSN 1359-1053
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1359105310390246
Individual and group interviews explored experiences of positive adjustment among 12 people with a range of visible differences. Thematic analysis identified four main themes: importance of appearance; personal growth; relationships with others; and coping (factors in the coping theme considered to be paramount to positive adjustment were inner strength and positivity, active coping techniques, downward social comparisons, taking things day-by-day, spirituality and humour). The findings provide insight into behaviours and personal outlooks that may contribute to adaptive coping and have implications for future research and interventions aimed at those who exhibit poor adjustment to visible difference. The article reflects on the use of both individual and group interviews for research in this field.
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