Social Interaction with Adults with Severe Intellectual Disability: Having Fun and Hanging Out Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Social interaction is integral to social inclusion. Little is known about the nature of social interaction between adults with severe intellectual disability and those with whom they engage. METHOD: Participants were six adults with intellectual disability and people identified as those with whom they shared demonstrable pleasurable interactions. Data were collected through observation and interviews, and data were analysed using a constructivist grounded theory approach. RESULTS: An overarching category of sharing time together with two main sub-categories of Having fun and Hanging out emerged. Having fun was composed of routines and comedic interaction; hanging out was comprised of contact and presence. CONCLUSIONS: Legitimizing mirth and sharing time in social interactions may supplement paid worker job satisfaction and increase opportunities for social inclusion by people with severe intellectual disability.

publication date

  • July 2012