Television viewing habits and preferences of adults and young people with intellectual disability: A survey using a Talking Mats® - Questionnaire

Karen Bunning, R Davies, J Greenwood, E Sturman, C Toner

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


Aims: Watching television is a popular leisure activity in the U.K. The aim of this study was to investigate the television viewing habits and preferences of adults and young people with intellectual disability. Methods: A survey was conducted using a Talking Mats® - Questionnaire (TM-Q) that was devised and piloted for the purpose. An interactive resource, the respondent expresses their views by placing picture symbols on a carpet mat displaying a rating scale. Twenty-eight adults and young people participated. Administration of the TM-Q was video recorded. The data were analysed and factors of age, gender and communicative ability examined. Results: Television watching occupied a large amount of participant leisure time. The communicatively less able group watched significantly more television than the more able group. Many favoured watching with friends and family, and socially interacting. The most popular genre of programme was ‘Soaps’ and the least - ‘News and Politics’. Age and gender of participants did not appear to be factors in their habits and preferences. Conclusion: Television watching occupies a high proportion of time and represents a social activity for many. ‘Communicative ability’ as a factor in television watching as a leisure pursuit warrants further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2014

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