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Title: The experience of individuals with developmental facial disfigurements
Author: Berko, Patricia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 1180
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2007
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This study examined the experience of individuals with developmental facial disfigurements. For the majority of individuals, the face is the most significant part of the body exposed to public scrutiny on a daily basis and is significant for multiple psychological as well as functional reasons. Facial attractiveness has been a highly valued trait throughout human history. Research demonstrates that facial attractiveness conveys social advantages, whilst the opposite is true of facial unattractiveness. People with facial disfigurements feel the unpleasant results of this and often suffer from a range of psychosocial difficulties such as anxiety, depression, poor subjective quality of life and low self-esteem. The aim of this study was to investigate the experience of individuals with a specific developmental facial disfigurement and their motivations for undertaking appearance-altering surgery. The study employed a qualitative methodology, which is uncommon in this area of research. Three men and four women participated in the study. They were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. The interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Four super-ordinate themes emerged from the analysis: 'Living with a visible facial difference', 'Rationale for treatment', 'Opinions of others about treatment' and 'Dilemmas posed by treatment'. The participants experienced functional problems which they felt embarrassed about and caused others to mock them. They had a variety of reasons for wanting to have surgery, highlighting functional and aesthetic improvements. They also had some doubts about the consequences of treatment, particularly wearing braces. These findings were discussed in relation to the literature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available