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Understanding adjustment to disfigurement: The role of the self-concept

Moss, Timothy; Carr, Tony


Tony Carr


The objective of this study was to determine whether variation in psychological adjustment to physically disfiguring conditions is related to organisation of the content of appearance-related information in the self-concept. A cross-sectional design was employed, using 70 participants with a range of appearance problems recruited from support groups and the NHS. A postal paper and pencil task was completed by participants which assessed the level of their adjustment using the Derriford Appearance Scale, and measured the three self-concept variables - differential importance, compartmentalisation and complexity. Regression analyses showed that poor adjustment to disfigurement is related to greater differential importance of appearance-related self-aspects, greater compartmentalisation of appearance-related information and greater self-concept complexity. No moderating effects were found between these independent variables. The results have implications for psychological treatment strategies, particularly cognitive behavioural therapeutic interventions.


Moss, T., & Carr, T. (2004). Understanding adjustment to disfigurement: The role of the self-concept. Psychology and Health, 19(6), 737-748.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2004
Journal Psychology and Health
Print ISSN 0887-0446
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 6
Pages 737-748
Keywords disfigurement, self-concept, therapy
Public URL
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