English title: Disability in Europe: policy, social participation and subjective well-being

Author(s): Marcus Maria van Santvoort -

Language: English

Type: Thesis / dissertation

Year: 2009

Abstract

This thesis reports on an analysis of European disability policy and an analysis of social participation and subjective well-being of people with disabilities in eight European countries. The policy study analyses similarities and differences in disability policy in nine European countries, explores the relation of this policy with developments at the European level and explores to what extent disability policy at the level of the EU influences national policies. On the basis of the analysis the countries can be grouped in a ‘coherent’, ‘fragmented’ and ‘transition’ policy cluster. Europe has hardly any formal influence through legislation. However, there seems to be an informal influence through ‘persuasion’ and ‘dialogue’. The objective of the quantitative study was to compare the situation regarding social participation and subjective well-being of people with disabilities in the various countries and to explore the relation with the different national policies. Data were retrieved from the European Social Survey. Differences in social participation and subjective well-being of people with and people without disabilities between countries were analysed as well as differences between people with and people without disabilities within countries. Further it was analysed how socio-demographic characteristics and self-rated health, mental and economic conditions were related to or determine social participation and subjective well-being in addition to disabilities. A disability as such seems to have hardly any influence on social participation and subjective well-being. A ‘positive and energetic attitude’ contributes most to social participation and subjective well-being. Concerning the relation between the two studies, there seems to be a certain relation between the policy clusters and the level of social participation and subjective well-being.

Type/degree:

Awarding institution: Groningen University

Number of pages: 176

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