Perceptions of people with mild intellectual disability and their family members about family-based social capital in the Netherlands
Number of pages
SourceHealth & Social Care in the Community, 30, 1, (2022), pp. 341-352
Article / Letter to the editor
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SW OW PWO [owi]
Health & Social Care in the Community
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
Families play an important role in the lives of people with intellectual disability as they do for everyone. However, little research has addressed the views of people with intellectual disability about their families by using self-report. Individual family members may hold different views about their family relationships. Therefore, we used a social capital theoretical perspective to examine (a) how perceptions of people with mild intellectual disability (MID) about their family support networks compare to those of their family members and (b) what factors are associated with any diverging perceptions. Randomly selected participants with MID (n = 111) and their family members (n = 111) were interviewed individually at their homes using the Family Network Method-Intellectual Disability (FNM-ID). The FNM-ID examines how people define their family groups and how they perceive existing supportive relationships within this group. The findings showed that participants with MID perceived that they had somewhat denser family networks (i.e., bonding social capital) than family members perceived them to have and were more likely to report bridging social capital. They reported more relationships that involved them providing support to family members. This difference in estimation was greater when the participant with MID displayed higher levels of externalizing behaviour problems. They also perceived more reciprocity in their relationships with family. No differences were found in the estimated numbers of significant family members and relationships in which support was received. It is concluded that people with MID and their family members have different perceptions on several aspects of the family support network. Family professionals and services should seek the views of people with intellectual disability and their family members when carrying out assessments or organizing supports.
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