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Abstract

The aim of the study is to compare the development of self-esteem and identity integration over time among people with disability and without it (data from norm groups), including people with a spinal cord injury as well as with disabilities caused by other reasons. The research examined self-esteem and identity integration of individuals with disability with regard to disability duration, gender, age, correlation analysis of self-esteem and identity integration. The sample consisted of 133 individuals with acquired disabilities. The study used the Polish adaptations of Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and Multidimensional Self-Assessment Inventory. Additionally, the respondents with disability completed a form with questions about their age, gender, disability duration and its cause. The outcomes of SES and MSEI modules were checked against the norm groups. The results demonstrated that self-esteem and identity integration do not vary with regard to gender, age or acquired disability conditions. The differences between subjects with disability and the normalized group have proven to be negligible. However, the factor that turned out to be highly significant was the disability duration. Differences have been observed among groups with disability lasting up to 4 months, from 4 months to 2 years, from 2 to 6 years and over 6 years. To sum up, self-esteem and identity integration correlation proved to be high and positive. These findings suggested that the higher the self-esteem, the more integrated the identity, regardless of either the disability type or its degree. The level of self-esteem is subject to differentiation primarily due to disability duration.
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