Focus on Friendship: Relationships, Inclusion, and Social Well-Being

  • Laura T. EisenmanEmail author
  • Brian Freedman
  • Marisa Kofke
Part of the Springer Series on Child and Family Studies book series (SSCFS)


Friendships are a key to social well-being for people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. Having a variety of social relationships is important, yet friendships have a unique role in people’s lives. Studies about the perspectives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities note the added value they assign to friendship versus familial and other relationships. Unfortunately, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities typically experience less social-connectedness and fewer intimate relationships than peers without disabilities. Aligned with positive psychology and disability studies frameworks, this chapter examines practices that create opportunities for friendship based on a strengths-based perspective, account for individual choice and agency across a range of capabilities, and value disability as a natural part of human diversity.


Making friends Peers Interventions Social ecology Cultural context Organizations 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura T. Eisenman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brian Freedman
    • 2
  • Marisa Kofke
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Education, College of Education and Human DevelopmentUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Disabilities Studies, College of Education and Human DevelopmentUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  3. 3.University of DelawareNewarkUSA

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