A qualitative exploration of the identities of parents with a learning disability

Laura Shewan, Karen McKenzie, Ethel Quayle, Rowan Crawley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


There are an increasing number of parents with a learning disability in the UK. Existing research in the area suggests that this group of parents face a number of issues including social isolation and over-representation in child protection systems. This study explored what parents understood about their learning disability and how they perceived this to impact on them in their parenting role. This exploratory study adopted a qualitative approach, involving semi-structured interviews with eight parents (three mothers, five fathers). The study suggested that as a result of having a learning disability parents experience some difficulties, however, these tend to be related to specific tasks only. In their parenting role, three separate identities were conveyed: as a person with a learning disability; as a mother or father, and as an individual (outside of their identity with learning disability or parenthood). The findings presented here are drawn from a larger qualitative study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-24
JournalBritish Journal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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