Experience of one's body versus narrative identity in young adults with physical disabilities
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The aim of the study was to explore the role of body self in the development of narrative identity in young adults with physical disabilities. The study included 40 young adults with different types and onsets of physical disabilities. The following methods were employed in the study: the Life Story Interview by McAdams, a structured interview relating to body self designed by the author, and a structured interview on the attitude to one’s disability designed based on Małgorzata Opoczyńska's interview on the attitude to one's illness. The study's findings indicate that body self has a significant influence on the development of narrative identity in young adults with physical disabilities; however, they do not provide an answer to the question which aspects of body self are most significant in this process. According to the respondents, issues relating to the perception of one's body and self-perceived physical attractiveness are of fundamental importance, where acceptance of one's body is particularly vital. They emphasized the impact of cultural factors, especially mass-media, on the development of their narrative identity and on the level of acceptance of their body. According to all the respondents, social relationships and broadly understood support of family, life partners and (or) friends had the biggest impact on their self acceptance and the acceptance of their disabilities.
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