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Protection and Restriction: A Mixed Methods Study of Self-reported Wellbeing among Youth with Intellectual Disabilities

Journal article
Authors Petra Boström
Malin Broberg
Published in JARID: Journal of applied research in intellectual disabilities
Volume 31
Issue 1
Pages e164–e176
ISSN 1360-2322
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages e164–e176
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1111/jar.12364
Keywords adolescent, intellectual disability, mental health, mental ill-health, mixed methods, phenomenological, self-reported, special education, well-being
Subject categories Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)

Abstract

Background: As most mental health studies of school-aged children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are based on proxy ratings, the subjective views of these young persons are rarely explored. The present study explores experiences of well-being, mental ill-health, family, school, and peer relations in students in special education. Methods: Ten students in special education, aged 13–16 years, answered the Wellbeing in Special Education Questionnaire (WellSEQ) and participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed using a mixed methods phenomenological research approach. Results: The general agreement between questionnaire responses and interview accounts appears to be good, and the students emphasized mainly positive emotions and good mental health. Students described their school environment and family relations as inclusive contexts experienced as both protective and restrictive. Conclusion: Using well-adapted research instruments enables students with IDD to communicate subjective experiences of well-being and how it relates to aspects of their everyday environment.

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