Levels of self-determination in the ageing population with intellectual disabilities

Izaskun Álvarez-Aguado, Vanessa Vega Córdova, Herbert Spencer González, Félix González Carrasco, Marcela Jarpa Azagra, Katherine Exss Cid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study looks at the levels of self-determination of people with intellectual disabilities aged 45 years or more. Self-determination involves skills to help make things they want happen in their own lives. In people with intellectual disabilities over 45, self-advocacy and self-awareness skills could be strengthened. Age, place of residence and support received by people with intellectual disabilities over 45, are some of the things that influence their self-determination. Abstract: Background Self-determination is a key construct to guarantee the development of skills that allow people with disabilities to acquire control over their lives. However, people with intellectual disabilities may have premature ageing processes that make it difficult to exercise these skills. This study seeks to determine the self-determination levels of 516 ageing adults with intellectual disabilities between the ages of 45 and 86 years. Method The data were collected with an ad hoc scale developed from the Functional Model of Self-Determination. Findings The results show that competencies related to self-advocacy and self-knowledge greatly decreased, unlike making choices and solving problems. In addition, the severity of the disability, age, place of residence and type of support are identified as variables associated with levels of self-determination. Conclusions There is a need to prioritise the acquisition and maintenance of skills related to self-realisation as the basis for intervention proposals in self-determination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-503
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • adulthood
  • ageing
  • intellectual disability
  • self-determination


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