‘People with intellectual disabilities living in the communities is bad enough let alone…having sex’: Exploring societal influence on social care workers' attitudes, beliefs and behaviours towards support for personal and sexual relationship needs.

Edward Olayinka Oloidi*, Ruth Northway, Jane Prince

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Services have a duty to uphold the personal and sexual relationship (P&SR) rights of adults with intellectual disability. However, little is known about how social care workers' (SCWs) perceptions of public views of intellectual disability and sexuality might affect their attitudes, believes and behaviours towards supporting P&SR needs. This exploratory study addresses this gap in knowledge. Materials And Methods: Qualitative interviews using critical incident technique were conducted with 18 SCWs. Data were transcribed and thematically analysed. Results: Four dominant themes were identified; socio-cultural, practice-policy gaps, fear and safety needs. These highlights how perceptions of public attitudes impact on SCWs' attitudes towards supporting development of P&SR both directly and through perceptions of organisational policies. This leads to prioritisation of safety needs over support for P&SR. Conclusions: Public expectations strongly influenced SCWs' interpretation of organisational policy, emphasising a need for practice-based support to manage public expectations and reduce fear.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12839
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume00
Issue number00
Early online date13 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • behaviour
  • believes
  • critical incident technique
  • personal/sexual relationships
  • social care workers
  • social/personal attitudes

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