Impact of Amblyopia on Self-Perception in Children Open Access
Huynh, Tuyet-Nhung (Spring 2018)
Background: Amblyopia, a common vision problem among children, is due to the abnormal development of the visual pathway. Children with amblyopia may have difficulty in various aspect of life such as school performance and social interaction, and if left unattended these negative impacts can contribute to negative self-perception.
Methods: Patients and visitors of the Emory Eye Center were asked to complete the Harter Self-Perception Profile for Children, an age-appropriate questionnaire assessing perceived competence on various domains. Amblyopes (n = 27), including those with strabismus, and controls with normal vision in both eyes (n=31) were included in the study. Parents/guardians of the children completed a different questionnaire and provided basic demographic information about the child in addition to other relevant variables.
Results: Children with amblyopia did not have significantly lower self-perception scores than control children among all domains. Although the mean global self-worth score for controls (3.38±0.58) was 0.18 points higher than amblyopes (3.20±0.70), the positive difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.28). Similarly, the mean difference in global self-worth score between strabismic amblyopes (3.27±0.73) and controls (3.38±0.58) was 0.12, with controls viewing themselves slightly more positively than cases, but the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.54). Adjusting for relevant covariates did not alter these relationships.
Conclusion: Amblyopic children, even those with strabismus, between the ages of 8 and 12 do not perceive themselves differently than their peers with normal vision, which can be attributed to early diagnosis and treatment of their condition. Findings from this analysis should not deter further research into understanding the impact of amblyopia on self-perception especially with regards to those who are treated after the sensitive period of development.
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