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The social relationships of three generations identified as disabled in childhood

Parsons, Samantha and Platt, Lucinda ORCID: 0000-0002-8251-6400 (2020) The social relationships of three generations identified as disabled in childhood. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 11 (4). pp. 519-550. ISSN 1757-9597

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Identification Number: 10.1332/175795920X15955998470689


Social isolation and loneliness have received substantial attention for their impacts on well-being and mortality. Both social isolation and loneliness can be experienced by anyone across the life course, but some are more vulnerable than others. One risk factor for poorer social outcomes is disability. We draw on data from three longitudinal studies, the National Child Development Study (Great Britain), Next Steps (England) and the Millennium Cohort Study (UK) to compare social relationships across three generations, born between 1958 and 2000/02 in countries of the UK. We examine social relationships at different life stages and how they differ between those who were and were not identified as disabled when they were teenagers. Adjusting for family background and educational attainment, which are associated with both disability and poorer social outcomes, we identify the long-term consequences of childhood disability for risks of social isolation among the older cohort. For the younger cohorts, we evaluate early indications of such patterns. We find substantially smaller intimate and friendship networks, and lower perceived social support among 50-year-olds who were disabled in childhood. Today’s disabled youth and teenagers also experience greater social isolation and risks of loneliness than their non-disabled contemporaries.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2020 15:33
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 16:24

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