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Religious expression amongst adults with intellectual disabilities

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2004
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number3
Volume17
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)161-171
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Background Although religion is an important part of many people's lives, little is known about the role of religion in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.

Method Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 29 people with intellectual disabilities of a range of faiths (various Christian denominations, Islam and Hindu dharma). Participants were asked about the meaning of religion for them, the role of religion in their lives and the attitudes of others towards religious expression. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed.

Results Participants expressed strong religious identities. Prayer was a particularly popular form of religious expression, with other forms of religious expression often hindered by services or faith agencies. Some individuals expressed how their religious faith was not recognized by services or faith agencies.

Conclusions Services and faith agencies need to recognize the importance of religion in the lives of many people with intellectual disabilities, and support religious expression in this group.