The health of parents with and without intellectual impairment in the UK

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Journal of Intellectual Disability Research

Authors

E. Emerson, G. Llewellyn, C. Hatton, G. Hindmarsh, J. Robertson, W. Y. N. Man and S. Baines

Publication date

Summary

Background: Little is known about the health and well-being of the ‘hidden majority’ of parents with mild intellectual disability (ID), who are less likely to be in contact with disability services. Method: We sought to add to knowledge in this area by examining the health and living conditions of parents with and without intellectual impairment in a large contemporary nationally representative sample of UK parents aged between 16 and 49 years old (n = 14 371). Results: Our results indicated that, as expected, parents with intellectual impairment were at significantly greater risk than other parents of having poorer self-reported general, mental and physical health. They were also at significantly greater risk of experiencing higher rates of household socio-economic disadvantage and environmental adversities and lower rates of neighbourhood social capital and intergenerational support. Adjusting risk estimates to take account of between group differences in household socio-economic disadvantage eliminated statistically significant differences in health status between parents with and without intellectual impairment on all but one indicator (obesity). Further adjusting risk estimates to take account of between group differences in neighbourhood adversity, neighbourhood social capital and intergenerational support had minimal impact on the results. Conclusions: That controlling for between-group differences in exposure to socio-economic disadvantage largely eliminated evidence of poorer health among parents with intellectual impairment is consistent with the view that a significant proportion of the poorer health of people with IDs may be attributable to their poorer living conditions rather than biological factors associated with ID per se.

Volume and page numbers

59, 1142-1154

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jir.12218

ISSN

16

Subjects

Disability, Households, Well Being and Health

Notes

Not held in Research Library - bibliographic reference only

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