Research study: The role of attributions, shame, and self-compassion on the mental health of individuals with facial differences.

April 9, 2020

ResearcherJoel approached Facial Palsy UK and asked us to publicise his study. Please read on for more information. Any enquiries about the study should be directed to Joel via email to and not to Facial Palsy UK.  Thank you.

About Me: Hi my name is Joel, I am 21 years old and I was born with a congenital facial palsy. I have had facial reanimation surgery to try to improve the movement in the left side of my face. This has involved a number of surgeries, with a nerve being taken from my foot and a muscle from my chest, being transferred to my face. My facial difference and my experiences with it have made me very curious about social interactions; specifically other people’s behaviour in regards to my difference. This interest led me to study psychology at degree level and then sign up for my masters in psychology, which this study is working towards. I want to draw more attention to the day-to-day interactions people with facial differences are confronted with. I also want to investigate the way we interpret these interactions, especially the negative ones, and how this may impact on psychological well-being.

Description: This study investigates whether attributions about the negative reactions of others affect the mental health of individuals with facial differences, and whether shame and self-compassion plays a role in these attributions. You will be invited to complete some demographic and appearance questions, followed by three psychological scales. This study is completed online at a time and place of your convenience.

Eligibility: To take part you need to be aged 18 or over and have any form of facial difference (for example; facial palsies, cleft lip and palate, skin conditions that affect the face, birthmarks, burns, acquired disfigurement, scarring from accidents, craniofacial disorders, disfigurement from head and neck cancer).

Duration: 15 minutes in duration.

Researchers: Joel Moxey,, Dr Debora Vasconcelos e Sa,


Note from Facial Palsy UK: When you get to the bottom of the page linked to above, see the arrow at the bottom of the page on the right, click this to continue with the survey.

The study has received ethics approval by the School Research Ethics Panel (SREP) and ratified by the Faculty Research Ethics Panel under the terms of Anglia Ruskin University’s Policy and Code of Practice for the Conduct of Research with Human Participants.

See poster below:

Research poster

News Categories: Research  /