the friendships of people with a learning disability
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the friendships of people with a learning disability

Rachel Brackenridge Trainee clinical psychologist, Galashiels
Karen McKenzie Consultant clinical psychologist, University of Edinburgh

What do friendships mean to people with learning disabilities? Rachel Brackenridge and Karen McKenzie describe a study designed to explore the qualities that individuals look for in their friends

Friendships are important to most people, including those with a learning disability (Cummins and Lau 2003). Not only do they provide non-judgemental warmth and understanding, friendships allow the development and confirmation of self-identity and can raise and sustain self-esteem (Firth and Rapley 1990). Furthermore, social support is believed to act as a protective factor with regard to some mental health problems, such as depression (Brown and Harris 1978).

Learning Disability Practice. 8, 5, 12-17. doi: 10.7748/ldp2005.

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