Self-Acceptance, Gratitude and Positive Psychology: An Empirical Investigation on People with Disabilities in Malaysia
According to Dembo, Leviton, & Wright, (1975) acceptance of loss is a process of value changes. The extent of acceptance of disability is associated with the degree that a person (a)recognizes values that directly conflict with disability; (b) deemphasizes aspects of physical ability and appearance vs his or her disabling condition;(c)does not extend his or her handicap beyond actual physical impairment to other aspects of the functioning self; and last but not the least, (d) does not compare himself or herself to others in the areas of limitations. Instead he or she emphasizes on own assets and abilities. Meanwhile, gratitude was defined as a positive, dispositional characteristic or trait composed of both cognitive and affective elements. Those with high level of gratitude would look at the world more positively (McCullough et al., 2002; Wood et al., 2010). In this progressive study, the meaning of self-acceptance and gratitude of people with disabilities were explored and uncovered through an empirical qualitative investigation. In-depth interviews were conducted on10 people with disability. Recorded and transcribed data were then analysed constant comparatively. Results showed that self-acceptance is closely affiliated with gratitude for all informants. The two play very important role at the early stage of incurred disability, and subsequently build very positive outlook of the informants towards establishing new platforms in their lives. Hence, it is highly recommended that newly people with disability are provided with appropriate self-acceptance intervention.