The Loss: Conceptualising Biographical Experiences of Disability, Social Isolation and Emotional Loneliness in North-East England

Deacon, Lesley, Macdonald, Stephen J and Nixon, Jacqui (2019) The Loss: Conceptualising Biographical Experiences of Disability, Social Isolation and Emotional Loneliness in North-East England. Social Work & Social Sciences Review, 20 (3). pp. 68-87. ISSN 1746-6105

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Abstract

Research into experiences of social isolation and loneliness has predominantly focused on older adults, i.e. post-retirement, as a significant at-risk group. Similarly, research exploring disability and loneliness has been associated with old age and conceptualised as an inevitable outcome of ‘failing’ health. This study seeks to conceptualise experiences of disability from a wider age group to understand if occurrences of social isolation and loneliness are commonplace. Fifteen qualitative biographical narrative interviews were completed by a Community Research Team, including seven males and eight females aged 32–89. A Disability Studies approach was applied to identify significant pathways from isolation into emotional loneliness, experienced by participants; fourteen of whom were affected by disability issues. Key risk factors were identified relating to disabled participants’ experiences of ‘loss’. Loss was associated with ‘loss of ability’, ‘loss due to bereavement’, ‘loss of social connectivity’ and ‘loss of self-confidence’. Participants connected life events concerning loss with spending time alone, leading to feelings of emotional loneliness. The findings illustrate key risk factors in being alone during evenings and weekends, periods where disabled participants were most likely to experience subjective feelings of emotional loneliness.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Unable to confirm DOI
Subjects: Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Education and Society
Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Lesley Deacon
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2019 12:08
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2020 13:33
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/11389
ORCID for Stephen J Macdonald: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4409-9535

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