Self-esteem and Empathy of Greek Children and Adolescents with Visual Impairments

By Spyridon Georgios Soulis, Yiannoula Andreou and Pinio Xristodoulou.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

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This article reports on a study of self-esteem and empathy among 46 children and adolescents with visual impairments that were recruited from various regions in Greece. Although self-esteem and empathy are important components for any child’s development, we have not been able to identify a conclusive body of literature that investigate the variables that affect the self-esteem and empathy of children and adolescents with visual impairments (Griffin-Shirley and Nes, 2005). There is a considerable disagreement among researchers as to whether self-esteem and empathy of individuals who are blind or have low-vision differs from that of the sighted (Warren, 1994; Tuttle and Tuttle, 2004; Lifsitz, et al., 2007). The present inquiry concentrates on individuals who are blind or have low vision, and on the variables that affect their self-esteem and empathy. The visually impaired adolescents were assessed using a self-report questionnaire based on the self-esteem inventory questionnaire by Coopersmith (1987) and on the empathy index for children and adolescents by Bryant (1982). Our main concern is to critically analyse the findings from the present study and compare them with the findings from other researchers that will provide a new perspective and enrich our understanding of these issues (Andreou, 2011).

Keywords: Visual Impairments, Self-esteem, Empathy, Inclusion

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp.79-91. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 469.281KB).

Assist. Prof. Spyridon Georgios Soulis

Assistant Professor, School of Education, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

Dr. S. Soulis’ research interests includes: introduction to special pedagogy, inclusive education, mental deficiency, and educational therapeutic methods in special education.

Dr. Yiannoula Andreou

School of Education, University of Birmingham, UK, Larnaka, Cyprus

Dr. Y. Andreou’s research interests includes issues of: a) children with visual impairments and blindness, b) children with learning disabilities and their education, and c) inclusive education.

Pinio Xristodoulou

Ioannina, Greece