The Love Project: Exploring support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to find loving relationships – a family perspective

Claire Bates, Michelle McCarthy, Rachel Forrester-Jones, K.M. Skillman, N Elson, S Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


Introduction: people with intellectual and developmental disabilities(IDD) experience additional challenges in establishing loving relationships. The aim of this research project is to explore differentmodels of relationship support in the UK. Research has suggested that some parents of people with IDD consider this part of growing up and are happy to support relationships, while others can be cautious due to safety concerns.

Methods: Six focus groups were conducted across with 20 parents of adults with IDD across England, three were conducted face to face and three via telephone conference calls.

Results: Initial emerging themes suggest that adults with IDD experience difficulties in both forming and maintaining loving relationships. If the person with IDD lives at home, their parentsform a substantial part of their social circle, and facilitate meetingany romantic partners/potential partners. The findings suggest that parents provide practical and emotional support to facilitate the development and maintenance of relationships and encourage social care staff to pursue this, if their family member receives support.Implications: The results of this study will contribute to our understanding of the support available to, and required by, adults with IDD to find and sustain loving relationships and how parents can best support this
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-870
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2019
EventInternational Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSID) World Congress, Glasgow, UK 6-9 Aug 2019: IASSID Future4All - Scottish Event Campus (SEC) Glasgow, Glasgow, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Aug 20199 Aug 2019


  • Love
  • Relationships
  • Family
  • Sex
  • intellectual and developmental disability

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