A survey of disabled children and young people's views about their quality of life

Sylvester, Janet and Donnell, Nigel and Gray, Shelley and Higgins, Kate and Stalker, Kirsten (2013) A survey of disabled children and young people's views about their quality of life. Disability and Society. ISSN 0968-7599

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Abstract

This study aimed to explore disabled children and young people's perspectives about their quality of life, in terms of physical, mental and social well-being. Ninety-one disabled children, recruited through voluntary organisations in Scotland, completed KIDSCREEN-27, a validated measure of health-related quality of life for children. Findings were compared with those from a European study of pre-dominantly non-disabled children. The children gave largely positive reports about school, family relationships and their physical health. However, one in three reported often feeling 'sad' and many were excluded from social activities with their peers. Expectations of achieving academic qualifications, and moving into further or higher education, were generally low. The children's perceived quality of life was lower than their European counterparts', less so in relation to school but particularly for friendships and peer support. The findings are discussed in the light of the social relational understanding of disability. Policy and practice implications are identified.