Interactions and relationships in adults with intellectual disability

Clegg, Jennifer (1990) Interactions and relationships in adults with intellectual disability. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (14MB) | Preview


This research concerned the social experience of two groups of adults with intellectual disability (mental handicap), those with verbal skills who could describe their experience and those with profound disabilities whose needs were interpreted by carers. Conceptual issues have been discussed to provide a framework for understanding their relationships and also for understanding intellectual disability itself. Social constructionism, has influenced the investigations.

Previous research shows that disabled people experience relatively little social contact regardless of their level of ability. Interactions and relationships were investigated so that practitioners aiming to improve intellectually disabled adults' social experience may have relevant information. It has been assumed that more interaction is better as it allows people to reflect upon themselves with regard to others, to construct themselves through their interactions.

These investigations fall into two main sections, the first a discussion of attitudes toward self and others held by people who had, or did not have, a peer-group friend. Results suggested that further examination of the role of the self-concept in friendship formation would be fruitful and that people without a peer-group friend were similar to lonely non-disabled adults.

The second section examines profound disability and contains a linked series of studies of adults' interactions with key workers. Results suggested that two interaction strategies used by staff were associated with increased positive responding from clients; that the developmental age of clients did not distinguish between them in their social responses to staff; that there was little evidence of turn-taking or the importance of staff making responses which follow the client's lead. Results were discussed in terms of their contribution to an alternative model for understanding profound disability.

The project as a whole was discussed in terms of the interaction between method and conceptualisation and concludes with a number of recommendations for practitioners.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Keywords: Intellectual disability, mental handicap, social relationships
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WM Psychiatry
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Community Health Sciences
Item ID: 11065
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2010 14:18
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2016 09:49

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View