A survey of disabled children and young people's views about their quality of life

Janet Sylvester, Nigel Donnell, Shelley Gray, Kate Higgins, Kirsten Stalker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


This study aimed to explore disabled children and young people's perspectives about their quality of life, in terms of physical, mental and social well-being. Ninety-one disabled children, recruited through voluntary organisations in Scotland, completed KIDSCREEN-27, a validated measure of health-related quality of life for children. Findings were compared with those from a European study of predominantly non-disabled children. The children gave largely positive reports about school, family relationships and their physical health. However, one in three reported often feeling 'sad' and many were excluded from social activities with their peers. Expectations of achieving academic qualifications, and moving into further or higher education, were generally low. The children's perceived quality of life was lower than their European counterparts, less so in relation to school but particularly for friendships and peer support. The findings are discussed in the light of the social relational understanding of disability. Policy and practice implications are identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-777
Number of pages15
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • children's views
  • disabled children and young people
  • quality of life
  • social relational understanding of disability
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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