Mothers and Fathers with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Who Use US Disability Services: Prevalence and Living Arrangements


Background: Little information is available on the prevalence of mothers and fathers with intellectual and developmental disabilities among US disability-service users. Child removal is a key issue for these parents.

Methods: We analysed 2018-19 National Core Indicators data from 35 states on US adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities being a parent. For parents of a child under 18, we examined whether the child lived with them.

Results: Prevalence of parenthood was 3.7% (6.0% women, 2.1% men). Among parents of a child under 18, 44.0% had their child living with them. Being a mother, being married and living with family were positively associated with child co-residence. Parents with co-resident children mainly lived in their own home (59.7%) or their family's home (32.3%).

Conclusions: Our prevalence estimate suggests a national total of 33 794 US parents who use intellectual and developmental disabilities services. For parents living with their child, a critical task for disability services is to enable parents and children to live in a family setting.

Suggested Citation

Stancliffe, R. J., Pettingell, S. L., Tichá, R., & Houseworth, J. (2021). Mothers and fathers with intellectual and developmental disabilities who use US disability services: prevalence and living arrangements. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.


Peer-Reviewed Article 


  • Community life
    • Community supports and services
    • Parenting and family relationships
  • Specific disability
    • Intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)