Beyond friendship: the nature and meaning of close personal relationshipsas perceived by people with learning disabilities

Attracta Lafferty, Roy McConkey, Laurence Taggart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many people with learning disabilities aspire to having friends and to formingclose relationships. Often the latter are discouraged, but for those who enter intosuch a relationship little is known about the meaning and value it brings to theirlives. The aim of this study was to gain an insight into the close relationships ofeight couples with learning disabilities using a combination of dyadic and oneto-one interviews. Data collection and analysis was informed and guided by thecore principles of grounded theory. Five significant types of benefits were identifiedfrom having close personal relationships, namely: comradeship, a sense ofcontentment, availability of mutual support, coping with the ups and downs ofrelationships, and a continuing commitment. Service providers could do more tofacilitate the formation of close meaningful relationships, and strategies fordoing this need to be identified and evaluated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability & Society
Volumeearly
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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