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Singlehood among Adults with Intellectual Disability: Psychological and Sociological Perspectives

Hefziba Vahav

This study aims to examine the phenomenon of singlehood among adults with intellectual disability (ID), using psychological (attachment and intimacy theories) and sociological theories (the selective/adaptation mechanisms) that explain singlehood in the general population. The sample included 56 couples and 40 singles with mild/moderate ID (CA: M = 37.54, SD = 10.90), who responded to a singlehood battery of 10 questionnaires. Contrary to our hypothesis, no differences were found between singles and couples with ID in attachment, intimacy and social emotional skills. However, significant differences were found in attachment to a close figure and in expectations from marriage and a partner, indicating that the singles have unrealistic marriage schemata. All participants expressed a desire to have an intimate relationship and marry. Does society ignore these needs?

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