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Self-Concept in Youth with Congenital Facial Differences: Development and Recommendations for Medical Providers

Authors

  • Patricia K. Marik Psy.D.,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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  • Jennifer A. Hoag Ph.D.

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    2. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Address correspondence to Patricia Marik, Psy.D., Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Center, 9000 West Wisconsin Avenue, PO Box 1997, MS B510, Milwaukee, WI 53201, or e-mail: pmarik@chw.org.

Abstract

Abstract:  Congenital facial differences may impact a child’s self-perception, activities and valuation, and what has been termed their “self-concept.” This article reviews what constitutes self-concept, and its development during childhood and adolescence. The literature examining the role of physical appearance, specifically congenital facial differences on individuals’ perceptions of self are reviewed in the context of psychosocial development. Positive self-concept can impact healthy behaviors, positive interactions with peers, and academic achievement. The role of mental health professionals in evaluating self-concept and objective measures of self-concept are discussed, and recommendations are made to assist medical practitioners regarding monitoring and encouragement of positive self-concept in children with congenital facial differences.

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