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CAMPOS, Mariana Tavares de; AVOGLIA, Hilda Rosa Capelão  and  CUSTODIO, Eda Marconi. Body image of individuals with non-congenital paraplegia: an exploratory study. Psicol inf. [online]. 2007, vol.11, n.11, pp.27-55. ISSN 1415-8809.

Society is organized by standards of physical, intellectual, social and emotional perfection. Consequently, people with disabilities have increasing difficulties in adaptation. This study aims at examining the body image of people with physical disabilities, specifically with non congenital paraplegia. Two young males, aged between 20 and 25 years, both with five years of history of no congenital paraplegia took part in this study. First they were submitted to an interview and then to Van Kolck’s Human Figure Drawing (HDF). Results showed both subjects had a sexual conflict evidenced by the division of the body into two areas: the upper and lower trunk. It was evidenced the emergence of defensive mechanisms to minimize their difficulties with their own bodies. Their body images seemed altered by a sense of lack of confidence in themselves, an attitude of expectancy towards life, nostalgia and need to obtain social approval. This study may provide subsidies for the development of more effective multidisciplinary intervention and enforce the need of psychological actions towards physical disabilities, in order to promote the adaptation and life quality of these individuals.

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