A study to access the validity and reliability of a measure of self-esteem, stigma and aspirations/expectations for people with learning disabilities.
The area of self-esteem in people with learning disabilities has been largely
neglected, and previous researchers have employed a variety of approaches. It is
important to further our understanding in the context of providing appropriate clinical
interventions and in monitoring the effect of social policy developments on the
individuals at the receiving end of service provision.
The study aimed to assess the reliability and validity of a set of measures
devised specifically for use with learning disabled people, by Szivos-Bach (1993).
The measures assess social comparisons, perception of stigma and aspirations and
expectations. The study was carried out with 30 adults with mild and moderate
learning disabilities between the ages of 18 and 65.
The results provide initial support for the social comparisons test as a
measure of self-esteem. Less evidence was found for the stigma questionnaire and
the aspirations-expectations test. The results are discussed in the light of
comparable research into self-esteem measures with non-learning disabled
populations. Further research is required, and the most profitable way forward
seems to be development of multi-dimensional measures of self-esteem.