Self-Esteem in Second Life: An inWorld Group Intervention for Women with Disabilities


  • Margaret A. Nosek Baylor College of Medicine
  • Susan Robinson Whelen Baylor College of Medicine
  • Rosemary B. Hughes University of Montana Rural Institute on Disabilities
  • Erin Porcher University of Montana Rural Institute on Disabilities
  • Giselle Davidson
  • Thomas M. Nosek Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine



Virtual worlds, Second Life, self-esteem, disabilities, intervention


We are developing and investigating the feasibility of a self-esteem enhancement intervention in Second Life for women with physical disabilities. We adapted the curriculum of a previously tested workshop intervention to include features unique to this environment. Results of the beta test were very positive. Everyone involved showed considerable enthusiasm for exploring the new world of SL. The group leaders were challenged to resolve technical problems on every occasion, but these diminished and were perceived as manageable as the intervention progressed. Beta testers gave positive ratings to the information presented, organization, and usefulness of the intervention and found it very enjoyable although fatigue and stress limited the participation of some. They appreciated the use of Internet technology as an accommodation to their disability, in place of requiring transportation and additional energy expenditure to attend face-to-face meetings. Research issues related to engagement, measurement, and participant safety, as well as future research directions, are discussed. We conclude that SL has great potential for delivering health promotion interventions to women with physical disabilities.




Research-in-brief papers