Women with and without intellectual disability and psychiatric disorders: an examination of the literature.

Laurence Taggart, Roni Millan, Annette Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the literature on women with and without intellectual disability and psychiatric disorders, using agender social model of health. Relevant empirical studies,international literature reviews and policies between 1980 and2007 were identified from electronic databases, journals andsecondary sources.Three areas were examined: psychiatricdisorders, their contextual background, and their clinicalpresentation.There are minimal levels of research into womenwith intellectual disability and psychiatric disorders. However, thisarticle hypothesizes that women with intellectual disability havehigher rates of psychiatric disorders than women without.Thismay result from greater vulnerability related both to internalfactors (‘intra’: cognitive deficits, poorer communication skills,limited social skills) and to the external world (‘inter’: lack ofopportunities, stigma, poor social support networks).The articleargues that such women require gender-sensitive mental healthservices. However, more empirical evidence is required to supportthis claim and to inform development and delivery of services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-211
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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