The role of formal support in the lives of children of mothers with intellectual disability

Susan Collings*, Rebekah Grace, Gwynnyth Llewellyn

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Mothers with intellectual disability face socioeconomic disadvantage and social isolation, which is associated with poorer child outcomes. Social services feature prominently in the lives of mothers with intellectual disability especially those without informal support; however, the role of formal support in the lives of their children has not been explored. Methods: Seven children aged 7–11 years took part in semi-structured interviews to explore their social experiences. Stories about interactions at home, school and with peers were analysed to illuminate influences, including social support, in their lives. Results: Formal support can provide an enduring relationship for children from socially restricted homes when it focuses on the child's abilities, interests and needs as distinct from those of their mother. Child-focused support can be from a paid worker or volunteer. Conclusions: Family support services need to apply a child focus to improve the well-being of children in vulnerable families.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)492-500
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2017


    • child well-being
    • disadvantaged families
    • intellectual disability
    • social support


    Dive into the research topics of 'The role of formal support in the lives of children of mothers with intellectual disability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this