Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Emerson, E. (2007). Poverty and people with intellectual disabilities. Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 13 107-113.
Title:  Poverty and people with intellectual disabilities
Authors:  Emerson, E.
Year:  2007
Journal/Publication:  Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews
Publisher:  Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Research summary:
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No

Structured abstract:

Background:  Research has shown a significant connection between poverty and the prevalence of intellectual disabilities. Evidence suggests that this connection is a result of two inter-related issues: that poverty may cause intellectual disabilities, and that the care of a child with intellectual disabilities puts families at increased risk of experiencing poverty. The authors suggest that the connection between poverty and intellectual disabilities may be the cause of the health and social inequalities experienced by those with intellectual disabilities and their families.
Purpose:  This article discusses the implications to policy and practice that funding of services has on people with intellectual disabilities. It also discusses preventive approaches to the health and social inequalities experienced by these populations.
Setting:  International populations.
Findings:  Research suggests that people with intellectual disabilities in the world’s wealthier countries experience significantly greater risk of living in poverty than their peers without disabilities. Evidence from the general population suggests that poverty experienced in childhood influences an individual’s health, wellbeing, opportunities, and experiences. In addition, individualized budget allocation systems may give preference to people with intellectual disabilities in wealthier families and communities.
Conclusions:  This author suggests that people with disabilities would benefit from policies that strive to directly reduce poverty rates, as well as from policies that target pathways that mediate and moderate the link between poverty and social and health inequalities.

Disabilities served:  Cognitive / intellectual impairment
Populations served:  Consumers receiving federal financial assistance through TANF
High school dropouts / functionally illiterate persons
SSI and SSDI recipients
Sub-minimum wage employees