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Love Around Us

The Role of Love in Education, Parenting, and Romantic Relationships

Edited By Kaarina Määttä and Satu Uusiautti

Love is the most important resource of every human being’s life. The authors examine what kind of roles love might have in different phases of life. They discuss how love makes life more meaningful and enjoyable. However, there are still love-related themes that are not so easy to discuss or accept. This book provides research-based analyses about the different roles of love including forms that have aroused contradictory feelings and prejudices, such as falling in love in the old age and love in people with intellectual disability are discussed. The book serves as a textbook for studies in psychology, education, and other fields in human sciences.

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Chapter 9. Love in People with Intellectual Disability (Jenni Mattila / Kaarina Määttä / Satu Uusiautti)


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Jenni Mattila, Kaarina Määttä, & Satu Uusiautti

Chapter 9 Love in People with Intellectual Disability

Abstract: The purpose was to research how people with ID perceive and define love. At its best, love is seen as a resource that requires certain abilities and skills, but can and should be available to anyone.


Concepts describing intellectual disability (ID) have changed during the past few decades. Many preceding concepts describing mental retardation (MR) have been considered derogatory (such as feeblemindedness, mental subnormality) (Tassé et al., 2012). The current concept of ID is to illustrate the essence of MR (e.g., Buntinx & Schalock, 2010). It is not only considered as weakened intellectual ability but more attention is paid on a person’s functional abilities and need for support. Instead of individual features it is more important to evaluate the person’s personal needs for support and his or her strengths in various areas of life and in different environments (e.g., Wehmeyer et al., 2008).

The current viewpoint emphasizes the right to participate in decision-making and to integrate in the society widely. From this perspective, it is important to support the awareness of one’s strengths and ability to choose the premises of one’s living as provided by the society. Here, the general attitudes and willingness to accept different kinds of people by respecting human worth are crucial. Communality, equality, and joint responsibility are significant, and the right for a good life...

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