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“I’m very comfortable with her” : An exploration of the importance of friendship to young women with disabilities and how these friendships are created
Ryan, Maeve
Introduction There are 600,000 people with disabilities in Ireland. Friendship has been indicated as an area of concern for people with disabilities. Friendship has a positive effect on life satisfaction, success and mental health, in particular among young women. It has also been highlighted as an important life occupation that is central to facilitating performance of occupation. The research seeks to answer the question “What is the importance of friendship to women in Ireland with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 30 and how do they create these friendships?” Methodology A sample of fifteen semi-structured interviews from women aged 18 to 30 with a variety of disabilities were accessed from a larger dataset of 93 semi-structured interviews collected over the last three years and were analysed using thematic analysis. These interviewees were recruited from mental health services, primary care centres and public health offices across the Mid-West of Ireland. Findings Three main themes were generated from codes. These were the temporal aspect of friendship in creating and maintaining meaningful friendships, the support found in friendship and friendship as a vehicle for occupation. Conclusion These findings mirror those found in other research completed on the subject of friendship. They add to limited research on this topic with this cohort of women between the ages of 18 and 30 who have a disability. It also underscored the importance of friendship with regards to meaningful occupation. In practice, understanding about how people with disabilities participate in occupation can enhance the client-centred and evidence-based nature of occupational therapy services into the future.
Keyword(s): disabilities; Ireland; friendship
Publication Date:
Type: Master thesis (research)
Peer-Reviewed: No
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Publisher(s): University of Limerick
First Indexed: 2017-05-10 06:03:20 Last Updated: 2017-05-10 06:03:20