Children and young people with Down syndrome: their awareness of Down syndrome and developing self-perceptions

Karen Deakin, Derek G. Moore, Andrew Jahoda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Past research suggests children with Down syndrome often lack awareness of their disability despite the visibility of their condition. Method: This study used novel tasks to investigate their insight. Twenty-eight young people with Down syndrome (aged 8–17 years) were recruited, along with control groups of 67 typically developing young people. Three tasks explored the children's awareness of Down syndrome: (a) choice of partner for social activities, (b) sorting photographs and (c) attributing positive or negative descriptors to photographs. Results: All participants expressed a preference to engage in social activities with typically developing peers. Most participants with Down syndrome identified with the typically developing person. Even though all participants attributed more positive descriptors to the photographs of the typically developing individuals, they remained positive about themselves. Conclusion: The early awareness of difference shown by young people with Down syndrome suggests this may play an important role in their developing identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1197-1208
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number6
Early online date2 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018


  • attitudes
  • development
  • Down syndrome
  • identity
  • self-concept
  • stigma


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