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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Maternal reactions, home environment, and the self-esteem of eight visually impaired children Rustige, Cindy L.


This study investigated the relationship among maternal reactions to visual impairment, home environment, and the self-esteem of eight visually impaired children. Educational research has clearly isolated a correlation between self-esteem, academic performance, and behavior. The premise of this study was that visually impaired children who perceived their home environments as supportive and nurturing; and who had parents, particularly mothers who accepted their loss of vision, would feel better about themselves more so than visually impaired children who held predominantly negative perceptions. The study also compared children's, mothers' and teachers' perceptions of the child's self-esteem. The subjects were 8 visually impaired children between the ages of 5 and 8, their mothers, and their integrating teachers. A questionnaire pertaining to children's self-esteem was circulated to teachers and mothers. Children were interviewed separately. Results indicated that the climate of the home was associated with both the use of functional vision and self-esteem in visually impaired children. The findings are congruent with educational and humanistic-phenomenological theory, and support the hypothesis that children's behavior and perceptions of themselves are influenced by the reflections of 'significant others', particularly their parents.

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