Title

Mental representation of the body: Stability and change in response to illness and disability

Abstract

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.

Department

Psychology

Publication Date

9-1-1988

Journal Title

Rehabilitation Psychology

Publisher

American Psychological Association (APA)

Document Type

Article

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