There is little known about what spirituality means for youth with disability or about the potential relevance of youths’ spirituality in pediatric rehabilitation. This study explored perceptions of spirituality for youth with disabilities. Using a qualitative descriptive methodology, we examined the lived experiences of eighteen youth ages 11-20 years with disabilities including cerebral palsy, central nervous system disorder or autism spectrum disorder. In individual interviews, followed by a focus group, youth identified key spiritual themes – the importance of their beliefs, personal sources of comfort and strength, finding purpose in helping others, significance of personal connections, and strengths-based perspectives on disability. This study makes a unique contribution by informing health care professionals about the relevance of youths’ spirituality in service delivery.
Spirituality, Religion, Disability, Youth, Adolescent, Quality of Life, Qualitative Descriptive
The authors wish to acknowledge that funding for this study was received from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Grant #100985-1. The authors are deeply grateful for the knowledge and wisdom generously shared by the youth in this study.
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Recommended APA Citation
Baldwin, P. J., Evans, J., Etherington, N., Nichols, M., Wright, V., & McDougall, J. (2015). Youth with Disabilities Talk About Spirituality: A Qualitative Descriptive Study. The Qualitative Report, 20(7), 941-958. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol20/iss7/1