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Handbook of Disability Sport and Exercise Psychology$
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Jeffrey J. Martin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190638054

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190638054.001.0001

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Body Image

Body Image

(p.369) 34 Body Image
Handbook of Disability Sport and Exercise Psychology

Jeffrey J. Martin

Oxford University Press

It has often been wrongly assumed that people with disabilities have poor body image. The purpose of this chapter is to review the body image research involving individuals with impairments and investigating if they are dissatisfied with their appearance. People with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, blindness, and amputations are all very different, and their impairments are likely to differ in many other respects that can play a role in body image self-perceptions. The lack of unanimity across the research reviewed here suggests that disability type, disability severity, visibility, duration, congenital versus acquired factors, age, gender, ethnicity, social support, and self-efficacy are all important considerations that can moderate and mediate the link between disability and body image. Researchers are urged to use theory to guide their research and to consider nontraditional approaches to the study of body image. For instance, researchers studying positive body image understand that this does not comprise simply the absence of negative body image cognitions and have examined the role of body appreciation and body acceptance.

Keywords:   negative body image, positive body image, disability, social support, visibility, impairment, self-perception, disability severity

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