There is now a good body of literature concerned with the quality of life of people with learning disabilities and a number of practical approaches available to consider its measurement (for example personal outcome measures and the Quality Network)
The research has identified five domains of quality of life: material well-being, development and activity, physical well-being, social well-being, and emotional well-being.
This longitudinal study set out to look at the perspectives of parents on these domains and on the quality of life of childrena nd young adults withl earning disabilities, The authors wanted to know whether parents’ well-being would be a predictive factor in the quality of life of their children.
They used the questionnaires with parents at two times, the first asking 147 parents, the second, only 108.
They found that social well-being of parents along with any changes in that social well-being and changes in children’s social well-being were strong predictors of quality of life for children with learning disabilities. Other factors that predicted quality of life of the children were emotional well-being of children, changes in children’s emotional well-being and changes in emotional well-being of parents. Factors that were not predictors of quality of life were material well-being of parents and health, development and activity of the children.
The authors conclude that they have identified clear predictors of quality of life in children and young adults with learning disabilities in the domains of physical well-being of the children and in the social well-being and emotional well being of the parents and the children.
Longitudinal Study of Parents’ Impact on Quality of Life of Children and Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, Cramm, J. & Nieboer, A in Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 25: 20–28.