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Intellectual Disability: Social Factors

Similar to behavior and human development, intellectual disability (ID) is now understood, at least partly, as a function of environmental contexts and conditions. Intellectual abilities and adaptive behaviors define myriad impairments labeled as ID; however, a milieu including political, physical, and social environments influences individuals’ abilities to meet the demands of everyday life. Within an ecological model, human functioning forms through a reciprocal relation between individuals and their environment.

Social Contexts and ID

Social contexts, the conditions of daily engagement, or lack thereof, with other people, contribute to functional abilities. One such condition, social support, is derived from close relationships and friendships. Individuals with ID are said to be socially supported when they derive encouragement, care, and advice from close interpersonal relationships. Daily-life activities are less ...

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