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‘The invisible enemy’: disability, loneliness and isolation

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The aim of this article is to quantitatively explore the relationship between disability, emotional loneliness and social isolation. The data analysis presents a number of statistically significant findings which illustrate that disabled people (N = 250) were at increased risk of experiencing emotional loneliness and social isolation compared with the nondisabled group (N = 355). This study identifies a number of disabling barriers which result in this overrepresentation of disabled people. The study aims to move away from a pathological explanation of linking loneliness and social isolation to disability, in order to explain this occurrence from a barrier-based approach.
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Keywords: disabling barriers; emotional loneliness; inclusive methodology; quantitative methods; social isolation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Social Sciences, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK; 2: People Services Directorate, Sunderland City Council, Sunderland, UK

Publication date: August 9, 2018

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