College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Social Adaptation in the Blind

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1983

Publication Title

Clinical Psychology Review

ISSN

0272-7358

Volume

3

Issue/No.

1

Abstract

This paper reviews the psychological, rehabilitation, and vision literatures on social functioning in persons with severe vision impairments. Research and clinical case reports reveal a relatively consistent pattern of problems in social adaptation in visually handicapped children, adolescents, and adults. Moreover, there are some indications that later impairment in socialization may be associated with inadequately formed “attachments” between the blind infant and mother. Studies which have attempted to assess and/or remediate social skill deficiencies in visually impaired individuals are discussed. Many treatment programs appear to successfully increase interpersonal effectiveness in this population. However, several methodological problems in this area prevent any definitive conclusions from being drawn at this time. Some of these include inadequate behavioral assessment and lack of controlled investigations. It is concluded that future research might focus on: 1) expanding the range of social skills targeted in current programs, 2) prevention of social dysfunction in adult life by increased application of skills interventions to visually impaired children, and 3) further examining the role of attitudes of the sighted toward the blind in the latter's socialization.

DOI

10.1016/0272-7358(83)90007-7