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‘Love makes me feel good inside and my heart is fixed’: What adults with intellectual disabilities have to say about love and relationships

McCarthy, Michelle, Bates, Claire, Elson, Nicola, Hunt, Siobhan, Milne Skillman, Karen, Forrester-Jones, Rachel (2021) ‘Love makes me feel good inside and my heart is fixed’: What adults with intellectual disabilities have to say about love and relationships. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, . ISSN 1360-2322. (doi:10.1111/jar.12893) (KAR id:87928)

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Abstract

Background: Adults with intellectual disabilities have historically been hindered, rather than supported, in their desire to form loving relationships. This paper sought to explore with them what kinds of support they wanted in the 21st Century.Method: Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 40 adults with intellectual disabilities in the UK.Results: Participants placed a high value on having a partner and being supported to maintain and develop a loving relationship. The factors which constrained them in achieving this included a lack of social opportunities, barriers created by social care services and limits on them exercising autonomy. Facilitating factors included access to specialist dating agencies, strong family and staff support and opportunities to learn about relationships.Conclusions: The importance of a loving relationship as a source of pleasure and meaning in the lives of adults with intellectual disabilities who are often disadvantaged in many other spheres of life is emphasised.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/jar.12893
Uncontrolled keywords: learning disabilities, relationships
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Michelle McCarthy
Date Deposited: 05 May 2021 17:18 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2021 13:06 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/87928 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
McCarthy, Michelle: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1358-2516
Bates, Claire: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7739-9986
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