Research on Psychological and Personal Aspects of Albinism: A Critical Review

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ObjectiveThe authors conducted a critical review of the research literature, examining factors associated with adaptation to the albinism condition.Research MethodThrough electronic and manual searches, the authors identified research articles on albinism that covered a period of more than 20 years.ResultsPeople with albinism were reported to experience many physical, mental/emotional, and social challenges. Data from the research literature suggest that most individuals with albinism have average cognitive abilities and achievement skills. Personal adaptation studies were mixed and indicated that many of these individuals struggle with the social impact of visible differences associated with the albinism condition. Public attitudes toward albinism reflected a general lack of information and a related degree of negativism.ConclusionsThe authors conclude that available studies lack the methodological soundness to produce findings that lead to better understanding of this phenomenon. Moreover, certain contextual variables, such as culture, socioeconomic level, and severity of disability, have been overlooked and need to be incorporated in subsequent research on factors impacting the adaptation of individuals with albinism. Implications for rehabilitation research and practice are discussed.

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