This chapter is based upon an oral paper presented at the IASSID World Congress in South Africa in 2008 and has also been published (for a review of this paper see Taggart et al., 2010). There is strong empirical evidence to show that women without intellectual disability (intellectual disability) are more likely to develop mental health problems compared to men (WHO, 2000, 2007). These higher prevalence figures result not only from biological differences among the sexes, but also from a range of psycho-social experiences. These include: poverty, inequality, social isolation, restricted social support networks, juggling multiple roles, and physical and sexual violence. As an indirect consequence of these experiences, the WHO (2000, 2007) has argued that these events have lead women to be ‘disempowered’ and have ‘low self-esteem’, thereby leading to higher mental health rates. People with intellectual disability are also more likely to develop mental health problems compared to the non-intellectual disability population (Bouras & Holt, 2007). However, little is known about the prevalence rates of mental health problems among men and women with intellectual disability, as those prevalence studies published contradict each other. Taggart et al. (2008) argues that mental health prevalence rates among women with intellectual disability may be higher as not only these women will experience the same psycho-social events as women without intellectual disability, but also encounter greater levels of discrimination as a result of having an intellectual disability. Likewise, little is known about the cause of mental health problems in women with intellectual disability. The aim of this study was therefore to explore the possible risk factors that may lead, and resilient/protective factors that may protect, women with intellectual disability from developing a psychiatric disorder.
|Title of host publication||Contemporary Issues in Intellectual Disabilities|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|