Webcast outline, Nov. 10, 2003
Enhancing Self-Esteem in Women with Physical Disabilities
Rosemary B. Hughes, Ph.D., Heather B. Taylor, Ph.D., and Margaret A. Nosek, Ph.D.
This presentation will address the important role that self-esteem plays in the well-being of women with disabilities. The speakers will discuss how the self-esteem of persons with disabilities may be diminished by factors including a) the stigma, exclusion, and devaluation that society often imposes, b) multiple losses including those related to employment, visibility, and health, and c) quality of relationships and experiences with abuse. They will address differences on self-esteem between women who have a disability and women who do not have a disability.
Information will be shared about various studies on self-esteem in the context of disability. The presenters will discuss a recent NIDRR-funded study on self-esteem that showed very promising results. The study involved a 6-session, weekly peer-led, self-esteem enhancement group program for women with disabilities. Pilot-tested successfully at the Houston Center for Independent Living, the study was fully implemented in five other CILs throughout the country. Participants were randomly assigned to participate in a group that received the self-esteem enhancement program plus the regular services of the CIL, or to participate in the group that received only the traditional services of the CIL. The results indicated significant and positive changes on measures of self-esteem, self-efficacy, and depression for those participating in the self-esteem program compared to those who did not receive the program. The presenters will discuss needs for continuing this program of research among ethnic minority, non-English speaking, and rural women with disabilities.