Abstract

Although faith has particular prominence in the contemporary American landscape, its intersection with disability and families has received little attention. We examined the spiritual and religious lives of 530 parents and caregivers of family members who have intellectual disability. For most participants, faith had clear relevance and was reflected in their congregational participation, beliefs, practices, and strength of faith. Yet considerable diversity was apparent in the ways in which each was evidenced, which included a modest number of families for whom this was not a salient aspect of their lives. Most participants identified ways in which their spirituality and religious participation contributed to their well-being. However, access to social supports through a local congregation was more muted. We address implications for professionals who support these families and congregations who welcome them. We also offer recommendations for expanding the opportunities and supports parents and caregivers need to flourish in their faith.

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