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Dmitry Leontiev: The Role of Personality Resources in Physically Disabled Students Facing the Adjustment Challenge


Aims: It is widely acknowledged in our days that special physical disabilities, that is deficiency of bodily resources, do not necessarily result in maladjustment, but can be compensated by social and personality resources. We hypothesized that the possession of personality resources is more predictive of well-being that the challenges of psychological adjustment.
Method: The sample was 210 college and university students studying in inclusive settings (48 respondents with different forms of physical disabilities and 162 non-disabled). The subjects filled a battery of personality tests, including the measures of positive personality resources and a shortened Russian version of MMPI for assessment of adjustment problems. Having split the total sample on the presence of disability, on the aggregate personality resources index and on the strain of adjustment mechanisms, we compared the subsamples by the Mann-Whitney U test.
Main results:
1. The share of participants with strong/weak resources and with strained/unstrained adjustment mechanisms does not significantly differ in disabled/non-disabled subsamples.
2. The degree of strain of adjustment mechanisms in the disabled participants makes no difference for the functioning of personality resources, unlike in nondisabled participants.
Conclusion: These and other results are discussed in terms of different functional role of personality resources in self-regulation of disabled and non-disabled participants. Strained adaptation resources in the physically disabled reflects the stable features of their character developed in course of hypercompensation, rather than the result of maladjustment (like in the non-disabled).




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  • Disabilities:

    Cerebral Palsy

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  • Audience:

    General public, Professionals

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