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Date of Award

7-26-2002

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Benson Schaeffer, PhD

Second Advisor

Sheila R. Bob, PhD

Third Advisor

James B. Lane, PhD

Abstract

Therapist attention to client diversity is important in providing culturally appropriate and effective treatment. Current research is inadequate in helping us understand how individuals with a disability view themselves, and how this relates to the growth of a positive selfconcept. The purpose ofthis study is to understand how individuals who are Blind describe themselves and how this contributes to their sense of personal identity. A semi-structured interview was used to develop a phenomenological description of the experiences of eight individuals who are Blind and to identify themes in self-descriptions. These themes were compared with expectations based on theoretical principles of two identity development models, the Racial/Cultural Identity Development model (Sue & Sue, 1990) and Social Identity Theory (Hogg & Abrams, 1988; Tajfel, 1982).

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