Changes in the Social Networks of Three Women with an Intellectual Disability: A Qualitative Follow-Up Study

  •  Minna Saarinen    
  •  Laura Holm    
  •  Lotta Uusitalo-Malmivaaara    


There is ample evidence to show that people with intellectual disabilities (ID) face an increased risk of being socially excluded. The longer life expectancy of persons with ID carries new challenges. In this paper, we report on a follow-up case study of three Finnish women with ID. The women were interviewed twice (in 1995 and in 2013) and relationship maps were drawn pursuant to the interviews. In all three cases, the density of the relationship maps had decreased. In two cases, intimate relationships had remained or become even closer. In one case, intimate relationships were fewer. External services were inadequate in supporting the women to maintain their social relationships. Resources in the immediate families were decisive in determining their life course which was burdened by several extra obstacles. Some of these obstacles could possibly have been prevented if there had been a more permanent support system. The advantages and disadvantages of service and support paradigms are discussed.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

Journal Metrics

Google-based Impact Factor (2021): 1.93

h-index (July 2022): 48

i10-index (July 2022): 317

h5-index (2017-2021): 31

h5-median (2017-2021): 38

Learn more