Home and the social worlds beyond

exploring influences in the lives of children of mothers with intellectual disability

S. Collings*, G. Llewellyn, R. Grace

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Background Mothers with intellectual disability are likely to raise their children in socially disadvantaged circumstances, and many face social isolation; however, the impact of a potentially restricted home context on children's social worlds has not been examined. This study was conducted to explore influences in the social worlds of children of mothers with intellectual disability from a child's perspective.
    Methods Seven children aged 7 to 11 years took part in at least two semi-structured interviews over a year. Narrative accounts of each child's social interactions were analysed to ascertain if a pattern was present across the group.
    Results Home was found to influence the children's social interactions elsewhere by providing (or not) predictable routines and rules, and support from a significant adult other than a mother. Home environments were found to influence other social worlds by establishing a foundation for children's expectations about social interactions.
    Conclusions The social worlds of school-aged children of mothers with intellectual disability are shaped by influences in the home that cannot be attributed exclusively to having a parent with intellectual disability. Significant adults provide an important support role and can be fulfilled by social service workers when a family-centred approach is applied.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)697-708
    Number of pages12
    JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


    • middle childhood
    • parenting with intellectual disability
    • social interactions

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