How do people described as having a learning disability make sense of friendship?

P. Mason, K. Timms, Tracey Hayburn, C. Watters

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: For many people with learning disabilities, friendships can be limited or restricted, with loneliness being a significant problem. Although much research has been undertaken exploring these issues, little attention has been given to what people with learning disabilities themselves have to say about friendship. The aim of this study is to explore how adults with learning disabilities make sense of 'friendship' and their associated experiences. Materials and Methods: Eleven participants took part in this study. Ages ranged from between 24 and 62 years (mean = 42). All participants were interviewed on a one-to-one basis, with interviews following a semi-structured format. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse the interview data. Results: Four superordinate themes were identified: the significance of friendship, the effects of friendship on well-being, power dynamics and autonomy. Conclusions: In the social lives of people with learning disabilities, friendships have an important role. Other relationships also have significance. Greater efforts are required to support people with learning disabilities to be able to maintain friendships and follow social pursuits of their own choosing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)108-118
    JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
    Volume26
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note

    The full text of this item is not available from the repository.
    This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Mason, P. , Timms, K. , Hayburn, T. and Watters, C. (2013) How do people described as having a learning disability make sense of friendship?. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, volume 26 (2): 108-118, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jar.12001. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving'. "

    Keywords

    • friendship
    • interpretative phenomenological analysis
    • learning disabilities
    • power
    • relationships

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