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Title: Exploring intimate relationships for people with intellectual disabilities
Author: Rushbrooke, Elizabeth
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2012
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This doctoral thesis explores the experience of intimate relationships for people with intellectual disabilities, with a focus on caregiver support. It includes a literature review, research paper, critical review and ethics section. The literature review is a qualitative meta-synthesis of the difficulties experienced by caregivers relating to the sexuality of people with intellectual disabilities and examines how caregivers address these difficulties. The synthesis produced five meta-themes: 'Fear and Uncertainty', 'Impact of Perceptions of Sexuality', 'The Same and Different', 'Balancing the Roles of Protector and Facilitator' and 'Conditional Sexuality: Conditional Support'. The findings suggest key issues for caregivers in relation to addressing the sexual needs of people with intellectual disabilities and makes recommendations for future research and clinical practice. The research paper then examines similar issues from the perspective of people with intellectual disabilities themselves. Previous literature suggests that people want relationships and people with intellectual disabilities have historically been denied their human rights. An interpretative phenomenological analysis was conducted exploring the experience of intimate relationships for nine adults with intellectual disabilities. Four main themes were identified; desiring relationships; expressing sexuality; doing relationships; and who has control? Implications for clinical psychology theory and practice are discussed. The critical review explores some of the considerations needed when conducting qualitative research with people with intellectual disabilities. It details some of the adjustments made and gives additional reflections on the research process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available