Positive self-regard as a coping mechanism for pediatric burn survivors

J. M. LeDoux, W. J. Meyer, P. Blakeney, D. Herndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Pediatric burn survivors are reported to present optimistic pictures of themselves; it has been suggested that their reports of high self-esteem may reflect a coping mechanism. The purpose of this study was to compare burned children's self-perceptions of competence and adequacy to normative populations with the use of two standardized instruments. A random sample of 32 pediatric burn survivors was administered two standardized instruments: the Piers-Harris and the Harter Self-Perception Profiles for children and adolescents. Paired t tests revealed significantly higher self-concepts by the burned children than the nonclinical reference groups on five of the six Piers-Harris clusters and on two of the nine Hatter Self-Perception Profiles domains. Also, the relationship between the children's perceived self-worth in each domain, and the importance they attributed to that domain, indicate that the burned children are satisfied with themselves in those areas they perceive as important. Results from both tests suggest that the burn survivors' report of positive self-esteem may reflect a necessary defense mechanism in the adjustment process, which should be supported by the burn team.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-476
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • General Nursing
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • General Health Professions


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