Mental representation of the body: Stability and change in response to illness and disability
Body concept and body esteem were examined among 147 male patients (mean ages 45–58 yrs) in 4 medical groups (cardiac, spinal-cord injured, alcoholic, and domiciliary). To study body concept, multidimensional scaling was used to extract the dimensions organizing 33 body parts. Three dimensions, head–body, arm-leg, and inside–outside, organized bodily experience for the groups. To study body esteem, a principal components analysis was applied to esteem ratings of the same body parts; head and body dimensions emerged, suggesting correspondence between cognition and affect. Body concept was stable across medical groups, whereas body esteem underwent dramatic, illness-related changes. A serial chain model of body concept is proposed to synthesize these and related findings.
American Psychological Association (APA)
Mayer, J. D., & Eisenberg, M. (1988). Mental representation of the body: Stability and change in response to illness and disability. Rehabilitation Psychology, 33, 155-171.