[Skip to Navigation]
Brief Report
October 22, 2020

Self-perception in Preschool Children With Deprivation Amblyopia and Its Association With Deficits in Vision and Fine Motor Skills

Author Affiliations
  • 1Pediatric Vision Laboratory, Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Dallas, Texas
  • 2Department of Ophthalmology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2020;138(12):1307-1310. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.4363
Key Points

Question  Is visual deprivation amblyopia associated with lower self-perception in children ages 3 to 6 years?

Findings  In a cross-sectional study, children with visual deprivation amblyopia (n = 15) had lower peer acceptance and physical competence scores for the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Acceptance for Young Children compared with control children (n = 20); self-perception of cognitive competence and maternal acceptance did not differ between groups. Using a standardized motor skills test, self-perception of peer acceptance and physical competence were moderately associated with motor skills scores.

Meaning  Lower self-perception of peer acceptance and physical competence was associated with early monocular visual deprivation.


Importance  Although the development of self-perception and self-esteem has been investigated in children with strabismic and anisometropic amblyopia, we know little about how self-perception is affected in deprivation amblyopia. Deprivation amblyopia from a dense, unilateral cataract is the least common and typically most severe form of amblyopia. After cataract extraction, optical correction, and patching treatment for amblyopia, visual acuity almost always remains abnormal, and except in rare cases, stereoacuity is nearly always nil.

Objective  To determine whether deprivation amblyopia is associated with altered self-perception in preschool children and to determine whether any differences in self-perception are associated with vision or motor skill deficits.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Cross-sectional study conducted from 2016 to 2019 at a pediatric vision research laboratory. Children aged 3 to 6 years were enrolled, including 15 children with deprivation amblyopia and 20 control children.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Self-perception was assessed using the Pictorial Scale of Competence and Acceptance for Young Children, which includes 4 specific domains: cognitive competence, peer acceptance, physical competence, and maternal acceptance. Fine motor skills were evaluated with the Manual Dexterity and Aiming & Catching Scales of the Movement ABC-2 test. Visual acuity and stereoacuity also were assessed.

Results  Of the 35 children included, 13 of 35 were girls (37%) and 28 of 35 were non-Hispanic White (80%). Children with deprivation amblyopia had significantly lower peer acceptance and physical competence scores compared with control children (mean [SD], 2.80 [0.44] vs 3.25 [0.33]; mean difference, 0.45; 95% CI for difference, 0.19-0.71; P = .002 and 2.94 [0.45] vs 3.41 [0.37]; mean difference, 0.47; 95% CI for difference, 0.19-0.75; P = .002, respectively). Among children with amblyopia, moderate associations were found between self-perception domain scores and motor skills, including peer acceptance and manual dexterity (r = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.26-0.89; P = .005), peer acceptance and aiming (r = 0.54; 95% CI, 0.03-0.82; P = .03), and physical competence and aiming (r = 0.55; 95% CI, 0.06-0.83; P = .03).

Conclusions and Relevance  Lower self-perception of peer acceptance and physical competence were associated with early visual deprivation in children in their everyday life.

Add or change institution