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Beyond Adjustment: Integration of cognitive disability into identity

Beyond Adjustment: Integration of cognitive disability into identity This study results from a series of focus groups during which university students, all of whom were diagnosed with disabilities that affect mental or cognitive functioning, met to discuss the challenges that they face, as well as the supports and strategies that help them to surmount social and academic obstacles. Participants had a range of labels including brain injury, neurological impairment, psychiatric disorder and learning disability. Gleaned from transcripts and field notes, this paper makes explicit the processes that students used to develop a self-perception that positively integrates their experience of disability. These complex processes included self-definition of difficulties, coping with limitations, identity management and embracing one's difference. Integration of disability into identity did not appear to be a staged process for these participants. Rather, they considered the implications of being labelled disabled simultaneously and from several perspectives. Findings are discussed in terms of adjustment of two groups whose members have different experiences from those in the majority: survivors of sexual abuse and racial minorities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Disability & Society Taylor & Francis

Beyond Adjustment: Integration of cognitive disability into identity

Disability & Society , Volume 16 (4): 21 – Jun 1, 2001
21 pages

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References (26)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1360-0508
eISSN
0968-7599
DOI
10.1080/09687590120059540
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study results from a series of focus groups during which university students, all of whom were diagnosed with disabilities that affect mental or cognitive functioning, met to discuss the challenges that they face, as well as the supports and strategies that help them to surmount social and academic obstacles. Participants had a range of labels including brain injury, neurological impairment, psychiatric disorder and learning disability. Gleaned from transcripts and field notes, this paper makes explicit the processes that students used to develop a self-perception that positively integrates their experience of disability. These complex processes included self-definition of difficulties, coping with limitations, identity management and embracing one's difference. Integration of disability into identity did not appear to be a staged process for these participants. Rather, they considered the implications of being labelled disabled simultaneously and from several perspectives. Findings are discussed in terms of adjustment of two groups whose members have different experiences from those in the majority: survivors of sexual abuse and racial minorities.

Journal

Disability & SocietyTaylor & Francis

Published: Jun 1, 2001

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