Date of Award

Spring 1982

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Little is known about the process of reorganizing body image following limb amputation in pre-adolescents. A literature review was done to increase understanding of body image in pre-adolescents and to further nursing knowledge on the process of reorganizing their body image following limb amputation. The three major categories selected for review were: pre-adolescent children, body image and, reorganization of body image following limb amputation. Pre-adolescent children were found to experience physiological, psychosocial and cognitive changes that altered their sense of identity. Body image was found to be a complex phenomenon that was affected by a person's neurological, psychological and sociological make-up. Reorganization of body image following disfigurement was thought to progress from global responses to specific identification of the changes to final acceptance of the changes. Loss of a limb caused psychological and behavioral responses in children. Their concept of themselves, the attitudes of their peers, family and society affected their ability to reorganize their body image. Based on the review of the literature, it was determined that preadolescents were particularly vulnerable to the loss of a limb and aspects of body image that affected them to adapt were identified. Nurses can provide valuable assistance to these children and specific implications for nurses to assist them with this process were identified.