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Coping with social stigma: People with intellectual disabilities moving from institutions and family home

Jahoda A & Markova I (2004) Coping with social stigma: People with intellectual disabilities moving from institutions and family home. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 48 (8), pp. 719-729.

Background: Social stigma and its impact on the life opportunities and emotional well-being of people with intellectual disabilities (IDs) are a subject of both practical and theoretical importance. The disability movement and evolving theories of self, now point to individuals’ ability to develop positive identities and to challenge stigmatizing views and social norms. Method: This paper presents findings from a phenomenological study of 10 individuals making the transition from their family home to live more independently and 18 individuals moving from a long-stay hospital to live in community housing. It builds on an earlier data set obtained from people living at home with their families and examines: (1) people’s awareness of stigma, and (2) their modes of adaptation to stigma. Results: The participants all believed that they faced stigmatized treatment and were aware of the stigma associated with ID. They presented a range of views about self in relation to disability and stigma. These views included regarding themselves as part of a minority group who reject prejudice, and attempts to distance themselves from stigmatizing services and from other individuals with IDs. Conclusions: The findings are discussed in relation to theories of self and the importance of considering psychosocial factors is stressed in clinical work with people who have IDs

identity; intellectual disability; selfworth; social comparison; stigma

Journal of Intellectual Disability Research: Volume 48, Issue 8

Author(s)Jahoda, Andrew; Markova, Ivana
Publication date30/11/2004
Publication date online19/10/2004
Date accepted by journal21/07/2003
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
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