The structure of informal social networks of persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities

A. Kamstra, A.A.J. van der Putten, C. Vlaskamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Persons with less severe disabilities are able to express their needs and show initiatives in social contacts, persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD), however, depend on others for this. This study analysed the structure of informal networks of persons with PIMD.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data concerning the number, type and frequency of contacts were collected in 205 persons with PIMD.

RESULTS: The mean number of contact persons was 5.1 (range: 0-26, SD: 4.2) per year. 79.4% of the contact persons are family, with an average of 72.3 contacts per year. Parents had significantly more contact compared to the other informal contact persons. In 2.2% of the sample contacts with peers were seen.

CONCLUSIONS: The informal networks of persons with PIMD consist mainly of family. The question arises how informal networks can be expanded and which role professionals have in this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-56
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May-2015


  • Disabled Persons
  • Family Relations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents
  • Residential Facilities
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Siblings
  • Social Support

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