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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

‘The invisible enemy’: disability, loneliness and isolation

Macdonald, Stephen J, Deacon, Lesley, Nixon, Jackie, Akintola, Abisope, Gillingham, Anna, Kent, Jacqueline, Ellis, Gillian, Mathews, Debbie, Ismail, Abolaji, Sullivan, Sylvia, Dore, Samouka and Highmore, Liz (2018) ‘The invisible enemy’: disability, loneliness and isolation. Disability & Society, 33 (7). pp. 1138-1159. ISSN 0968-7599

Item Type: Article


The aim of this article is to quantitatively explore the relationship between disability, emotional loneliness and social isolation. The data analysis presents a number of statistically significant findings which illustrate that disabled people (N = 250) were at increased risk of experiencing emotional loneliness and social isolation compared with the nondisabled group (N = 355). This study identifies a number of disabling barriers which result in this overrepresentation of disabled people. The study aims to move away from a pathological explanation of linking loneliness and social isolation to disability, in order to explain this occurrence from a barrier-based approach.

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Depositing User: Klaire Purvis-Shepherd


Item ID: 10594
Identification Number:
ISSN: 0968-7599
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Stephen J Macdonald: ORCID iD
ORCID for Lesley Deacon: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2019 14:23
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2023 09:43


Author: Stephen J Macdonald ORCID iD
Author: Lesley Deacon ORCID iD
Author: Jackie Nixon
Author: Abisope Akintola
Author: Anna Gillingham
Author: Jacqueline Kent
Author: Gillian Ellis
Author: Debbie Mathews
Author: Abolaji Ismail
Author: Sylvia Sullivan
Author: Samouka Dore
Author: Liz Highmore

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society
Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences > Health and Social Care
Social Sciences

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