Spirituality and social networks of people with intellectual and developmental disability

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14 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Researchers contend that religious/spiritual communities may provide a conduit to friendship for people with IDD. This research explored the interface between social networks and spirituality for individuals with IDD living in either a faith or non-faith based service. Method: A mixed-methods approach was used including semi-structured interviews, the Social Network Guide and the Spiritual Belief Inventory-15R with individuals with IDD (or staff members who provided their opinions of what individuals who lacked capacity to consent would say if they had capacity). These findings were corroborated with extensive field notes generated from participant observation. Results: The faith-based group had a higher network size (m= 78) compared to the non-faith based group (m = 44). Those with larger social networks also reported higher SBI-15R scores. Conclusion: Findings highlight the possible role of social, spiritual/religious activities for expanding individuals' social networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-284
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issue number3
Early online date24 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2017


  • intellectual and developmental disability, spirituality, spiritual/religious activities, social networks, faith and non-faith based care services.


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