An initial look at the quality of life of Malaysian families that include children with disabilities

M Clarke, Roy Brown, R Karrapaya

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background While there is a growing body of literature in the quality of life of families that include children with disabilities, the majority of research has been conducted in western countries. The present study provides an initial exploration of the quality of life of Malaysian families that include children with developmental/intellectual disabilities. Dynamics characterising Malaysian society are described as developments in social policy and service delivery that support persons with disabilities and their families. Method Questionnaire data were collected using the Family Quality of Life Survey - Short Version. Members of 52 families that included one or two children with disabilities were interviewed. Their responses provided their perceptions within six dimensions of family quality of life across the nine life domains assessed. Results Findings showed a consistent pattern of relatively strong perceived 'importance' ratings in each of life domains as compared to mean ratings for other family quality of life dimensions. Some dimensions of family quality of life, in particular 'opportunities', 'initiative' and 'attainment', demonstrated particularly strong associations with each other. Overall means of satisfaction with and attainment of family quality of life as well as global evaluations of quality of life and satisfaction all demonstrated significant associations, although each of these correlations accounted for less than 50% of the common variance. Conclusions The importance rating can be viewed as a determining factor in terms of quality of life, and it played a critical role in supporting attainment of, and satisfaction with, family quality of life, assuming opportunities, initiative and stability are adequate. The need for a broader sample including families that were not receiving services was noted. Future research questions based on the results of the current study and some of the dynamics impacting Malaysian society are also suggested.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-60
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
    Volume56
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

    Keywords

    • Developmental disabilities
    • Family quality of life
    • Intellectual disabilities
    • Malaysia

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