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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter demonstrates that a positive psychological perspective on friendships that encompasses universal concepts of belonging, connection, and well-being is important for people with intellectual disability. Evidence suggests that those with intellectual disability, regardless of level of impairment, enjoy close meaningful friendships that fulfill social needs. Much research on the social relationships of people with intellectual disability has focused on social acceptance and positive interactions with typically developing peers; however, new research points to the importance of friendships between people with intellectual disability. The chapter concludes that, for people with intellectual disability, social relationships satisfy an essential human need for belonging and human connection. By focusing on the positive relationships experienced by people with intellectual disability, this chapter adds to a more inclusive positive psychology that embraces and accommodates developmental differences.

Keywords: intellectual disability, friendship, social relationships, adolescents, adults

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