Variables that affect the development of self-determination in people with intellectual disabilities


Self-determination is key to ensuring the development of skills that enable people with disabilities to gain control over their lives. People with intellectual disabilities, however, may have premature ageing processes that make it difficult to exercise these skills. This study, therefore, seeks to determine the levels of self-determination of 516 adults with intellectual disabilities between the ages of 45 and 86. Data were collected with a scale developed from the Functional Model of Self-Determination.

The research was conducted by Vanessa Vega, research associate at MICARE, together with Izaskun Álvarez-Aguado, Herbert Spencer, Felix González, Marcela Jarpa, and Karla Campaña.

The results show that competencies related to self-advocacy and self-knowledge decreased considerably, unlike decision making and problem-solving. In addition, the severity of the disability, age, place of residence, and type of support were identified as variables associated with levels of self-determination.

The discussion emphasizes the need to prioritize the acquisition and maintenance of skills related to self-fulfilment as a basis for self-determination intervention proposals.

Persona adulta con discapacidad intelectual sonriendo