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Assisted normality - a grounded theory of adolescent's experiences of living with personal assistance
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
Number of Authors: 3
2016 (English)In: Disability and Rehabilitation, ISSN 0963-8288, E-ISSN 1464-5165, Vol. 38, no 11, 1053-1062 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to explore how adolescents with disabilities experience everyday life with personal assistants. Method: In this qualitative study, individual interviews were conducted at 35 occasions with 16 Swedish adolescents with disabilities, in the ages 16-21. Data were analyzed using grounded theory methodology. Results: The adolescents' main concern was to achieve normality, which is about doing rather than being normal. They try to resolve this by assisted normality utilizing personal assistance. Assisted normality can be obtained by the existing relationship, the cooperation between the assistant and the adolescent and the situational placement of the assistant. Normality is obstructed by physical, social and psychological barriers. Conclusion: This study is from the adolescents' perspective and has implications for understanding the value of having access to personal assistance in order to achieve assisted normality and enable social interaction in everyday life. Implications for Rehabilitation Access to personal assistance is important to enable social interaction in everyday life. A good and functional relationship is enabled through the existing relation, co-operation and situational placement of the assistant. If the assistant is not properly sensitized, young people risk turning into objects of care. Access to personal assistants cannot compensate for disabling barriers in the society as for example lack of acceptance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 38, no 11, 1053-1062 p.
Keyword [en]
interviews, disability, Sweden, grounded theory, Adolescent
National Category
Health Sciences Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129888DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1091860ISI: 000372733600004PubMedID: 26482646OAI: diva2:926421
Available from: 2016-05-06 Created: 2016-05-03 Last updated: 2016-05-06Bibliographically approved

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