An Exploratory Study on Life Experiences of Youth with Intellectual Disabilities in Residential Facilities

지적장애청소년의 시설생활 경험에 관한 탐색적 연구

  • Received : 2012.01.24
  • Accepted : 2012.03.28
  • Published : 2012.05.31

Abstract

This study aimed to explore the life experiences of youth with intellectual disabilities in residential facilities. The residential facilities in this study include large scale residential facilities where many residents live and a group home where a few residents live. This study used a qualitative research method; the youth participants were selected from the recommendations of professional groups, and interviewed using the focus group and individual interview methods. In addition, social workers and parents were interviewed to complement interviews of youth with intellectual disabilities. According to the results, the following main themes were extracted from the experiences of youth with intellectual disabilities who live in residential facilities: 'restricted lives by strict rules', 'limitation of individual lives and choice experiences', 'not being respected' at large scale residential facilities, and 'starting independent living', 'a still hardship of independence', 'a tranquil life like home', 'difficulties of communal living' at the group home. Also, they have common experiences in both types of residential facilities: 'depending on each other', 'missing their family', 'being excluded from peer groups at school', 'not wanting to be known as living at residential facilities'. The implication of this study results are for the policy making, and the actual practices were discussed focusing on their right and well-being.