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Research article
First published online August 9, 2011

Perspectives of disabled young people with degenerative conditions on making choices with parents and peers

Abstract

English government policy advocates providing greater choice-making opportunities for service users and their families. However, there is a gap in our knowledge about the role family, especially parents, and also friends play in the choice-making processes of disabled young people. Drawing on data from an English longitudinal study, this article begins to address this gap by exploring disabled young people's shared choice-making with parents and peers. Using qualitative data from 27 interviews with disabled young people with degenerative conditions, it demonstrates that young people want to participate in making choices about their own lives but choices are often made with other people, especially parents and peers. Processes of choice-making are diverse. Parents and/or peers are involved at different stages and in varying degrees with young people depending on personal circumstances. For example, circumstances such as young people's age and experience and the type of choice and its perceived seriousness. Recognizing this complexity and the importance of a holistic approach to choice-making, the article concludes with some practice suggestions.

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Published In

Article first published online: August 9, 2011
Issue published: November 2012

Keywords

  1. Choice-making
  2. disabled young people
  3. listening to young people
  4. parents
  5. shared decision-making
  6. visual methods
  7. young people with degenerative conditions

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History

Published online: August 9, 2011
Issue published: November 2012

Authors

Affiliations

Wendy Mitchell
Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, UK

Notes

Wendy Mitchell, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK. Email: [email protected]

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