Exploring the self-concepts of persons with intellectual disabilities

Eria Ping Ying Li, Alan Sing Fai Tam, Wai Kwong Man

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores the self-concepts of Hong Kong Chinese with intellectual disabilities. Face-to-face and individual interviews were conducted in Cantonese, using the Chinese version of the Adult Source of Self-Esteem Inventory (ASSEI) together with three open-ended questions to explore the participants' self-conceptions in different life domains. An opportunity sample of 135 young adults with intellectual disabilities was interviewed. The findings showed that the family self, the social self and achievement in school and work were the self-concept attributes most important to the participants. The participants of this study had a higher total self-concept than that of a comparison group of people without disabilities when the participants used the in-group social comparison to maintain positive self-perception. The importance of partnership with family, self-concept enhancement strategies and quality employment service are discussed in order to facilitate people with intellectual disabilities to develop more positive self-concepts and thus achieve better community integration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2006


  • Empowerment
  • Quality of life
  • Self-concept
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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