Implications of internalised ableism for the health and wellbeing of disabled young people

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When conceptualising health and wellbeing among disabled people, the experience of internalised ableism must be considered. In this article, we argue that internalised ableism is indeed a health and wellbeing issue that materialises in numerous complex psychological, social and physical consequences. For theoretical grounding, we utilise critical disability studies, feminist theorising about solidarity and disability activists’ concept of ‘disability justice’. We draw on data from focus-group interviews with disabled young people, comprising ten men and eleven women, with different impairment types. The focus-group discussions revolve around various aspects of their wellbeing and participation in society, and possible and actual threats to the wellbeing of disabled children and young people in general. The analysis reflects various negative effects of internalised ableism on the identity, health and wellbeing of disabled young people. Family support, access to safer spaces and positive peer interactions are factors defining how internalised ableism develops, is maintained or defied. Peer support and solidarity are strong indicators of promoting healing from internalised ableism. We argue that disability scholars need to address the health and wellbeing of disabled people in an ableist world.




Jóhannsdóttir, Á., Egilson, S. Þ., & Haraldsdóttir, F. (2022). Implications of internalised ableism for the health and wellbeing of disabled young people. Sociology of Health and Illness, 44(2), 360–376.

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