UPSI Digital Repository (UDRep)
|Abstract : Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris|
|The main aim of this study is to generate empirical data to show any common phenomena in the protective factors of youths with disabilities and if stigmatizing experiences influences subsequent interactions with protective factors. Protective factors are elements that are known through years of research to be crucial for the development and maintenance of resilience. This study is a mixed method research design. Eight respondents (4 males and 4 females) were selected based on two wide categories: visible and invisible disabilities. A bilingual 5 point Likert scale resiliency questionnaire was used on all respondents to measure the strengths of their 10 protective factors. Brislin back-translation method and factor analysis on an initial sample of 46 students was used to form the Malay version and to determine construct validity and reliability. Individual resiliency profiles were generated from this instrument which allowed for the scrutiny for common patterns while interviews guided by Strauss and Corbin’s grounded theory method were carried out to validate the resiliency scores and investigate respondents’ stigmatizing experiences. Triangulation of both qualitative and quantitative data resulted in the identification of several common phenomena. Findings on the protective factors, mainly self-control, empowerment and community cohesiveness are areas of challenge while school and learning are areas of strengths. The visibility of the disability was also found to have an influence on respondents’ engagement with their protective factors, named by the researcher as the I-E gap. None of the respondents expressed joy or gratitude that they have been stigmatized. All expressed negative emotional responses to stigma with shame and sadness at the top of the list. Other emotions felt include anger, fear and social anxiety. Overt behavioural responses to stigma was found to function as coping strategies by the respondents with includes avoidance, getting adult help, fighting back (by themselves), try to erase stigma, denial, self-isolation, ignore, reasoning the stigmatizer’s view, positive self-talk and diary writing. Findings also show that if perceived as having no more support from external sources, the disabled is capable of taking their own life. The findings in this study strongly imply that parents, caregivers, educational and medical professionals must be aware of the influence of stigma and how it negatively influence subsequent interactions with protective factors to enable them to know how to assist and guide youths with disabilities foster and maintain a positive and resilient mindset. Other findings also imply that sexual development in youth with disabilities is a major concern for them and should be sensitively and adequately addressed if resilience inoculation is to be successful. Finally, it was found that long term caring for the disabled is a heavy responsibility and could be a source of stress that may have negative consequences on the quality of care for the disabled. All these concerns found in this study could potentially form part of a general framework for those who aim to assist in fostering and developing resilience among youth with disabilities.|
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