Leisure participation among people with DD is affected by environmental factors

By Marta Badia, PhD
Institute on Community Integration,
University of Salamanca, Spain

The theoretical models of human functioning, such as the
International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF), and the American Association of Intellectual Disabilities and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) model include participation as an essential dimension. Current research shows increasing interest in determining the special characteristics of leisure activities of people with developmental disabilities (DD), and which factors are related to the results of participation in leisure activities.

What did you do in your research?
We investigated the participation in, preference for, and interest in leisure activities of young and adults with DD in Spain. We also examined the factors associated with leisure activity.

What did you find out?
The results of this study show that youth and adults with DD participate to a greater extent in social activities, followed by leisure activities at home, and, to a lesser degree, physical activities. Most activities were solitary and passive in nature. According to the preference expressed by the participants for the activities they would like to do more frequently, they indicated a higher number of social participation activities and recreational activities at home. The participants expressed interest in trying out a great number of physical activities. The preference and interest in activities depended on age and type of schooling. Younger people wanted to participate in more activities and those who attended special education schools expressed interest in new activities.

What are the take-home messages?
The findings reveal interesting patterns of leisure activities, preference, and interest from the viewpoint of youngsters and adults with DD. Leisure participation among people with DD is likely to be more affected by environmental factors than by personal factors.

To learn more about these findings contact
Marta Badia.

Full Journal Article
Badia, M., Orgaz, M.B., Verdugo, M.A. and Ullan, A.M. (2013). Patterns and determinants of leisure participation of youth and adults with developmental disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 57(4), 319-332.