Disability in the Family

  • Michael Oliver
Part of the Practical Social Work Series book series (PSWS)


The social model of disability can be a useful and sensitising perspective in considering the implications of disability for family life. There are three ways in which the ‘disability relationship’ discussed in the previous chapter is important here. To begin with, disability in an impaired individual may be exacerbated by the way he or she is treated by the family, as with the way some disabled children are overprotected by their anxious parents. In addition family structure and stability may be adversely affected by one of its members becoming disabled, though it is important to note that such an occurrence may strengthen rather than weaken familial ties in some situations. Finally, there is the question of the way society treats families, through social policy provision, where there is a disabled member.


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Copyright information

© British Association of Social Workers 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Oliver

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