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A qualitative study exploring the experience of moving out of the family home for African Caribbean people with learning disabilities

By Holly Luisa Jones


The way in which people with learning disabilities experience the move out of the family home has not been extensively researched. This is surprising given the fact that Clinical Psychologists who work with people with learning disabilities are often asked to support service users, families and staff around the time of residential transition. The paucity of research is especially evident among people with learning disabilities from minority ethnic communities.\ud \ud The aim of this study was to explore the experience of moving out of the family home for African Caribbean people with learning disabilities. This ethnic group appear to be overrepresented in residential services and are at greater risk of being diagnosed with mental health problems than other ethnic groups.\ud \ud Six African Caribbean people with learning disabilities who had moved out of the family home were interviewed about their experiences of residential transition. The data collected from these semi-structured interviews were then analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, 2004).\ud \ud Both an individual and group analysis was carried out in order to ensure that individual voices were heard. The group analysis produced three superordinate themes. The first, ‘struggle’, described participants striving for empowerment and autonomy whilst feeling frustrated by their dependency and powerlessness. The second, ‘connectedness’, described participants’ repeated experiences of loss and rejection and their desire to form close relationships and belong to a wider community. Finally the third, ‘appraisal with emotion’, described participants’ anxieties regarding residential transitions in terms of their perceived vulnerability and limited resources as well as a sense of hope about the future.\ud \ud Despite its small sample size, this study offers an insight into the experiences of a hugely under researched population. The findings can also be used to inform the clinical practice of professionals who work with such service users

Publisher: School of Medicine (Leeds)
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:1114

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