ERIC Number: ED075451
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1972-Dec-8
Reference Count: N/A
The Self Concept of Mental Retardates: Some Problems of Assessment.
Shultz, John L.
The definition of self-concept used here is "the person's view of himself," which is bound to the person's transactions with significant others in his environment. The two sources of data about the self-concept are the subject and the observer, each with his own biases. In inventories and checklists, Ss are limited to the statement given them. In interpersonal assessment, E interprets Ss self-concept from his own frame of reference, but this method is recommended as best eliciting the Ss view of himself in his own words. These generalizations are drawn from recent experience with mental retardates: (1) mental retardation is an ascribed status with an elaborate set of roles; and (2) there is a kind of mythology implicit in caretakers' behavior toward persons labeled with MR. These attitudes undermine the mental retardate's effort to develop a positive self-concept. If, as has been maintained, power (influence and control over others), significance (ability to receive affection and attention from others), competence and worthiness are the sources of positive feeling about oneself, and if one is dependent upon others for gratification of these needs, the poor self-concept typical of MRs is all that can be expected under their present treatment. Many of the struggles with MRs are power struggles; possibly MRs want to have more control and not be treated as inferiors. Empirical data are needed regarding self-concept and the mentally retarded. (For related documents, see TM 002 526-7, 529-541.) (KM)
Descriptors: Interviews, Mental Retardation, Need Gratification, Psychological Needs, Self Concept, Self Concept Measures, Self Esteem, Speeches
Not available separately; see TM 002 526
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Session I of Southeastern Invitational Conference on Measurement in Education (11th, Athens, Georgia, December 8, 1972)