Responses of staff towards people with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities who behave aggressively: a cognitive emotional analysis

Wanless, L.K. and Jahoda, A. (2002) Responses of staff towards people with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities who behave aggressively: a cognitive emotional analysis. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 46(6), pp. 507-516. (doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2788.2002.00434.x)

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Abstract

Background Traditionally, research into interactions between staff and adults with an intellectual disability who engage in challenging behaviour has been carried out within a behavioural paradigm. Recent work has begun to examine cognitive factors. The majority of this research has drawn upon Weiner's attributional model of helping behaviour. Moreover, staff responses have usually been investigated in relation to client vignettes of challenging behaviour.

Method The present study involved 38 staff who worked with frequently aggressive clients and its aims were twofold: (1) to compare different methods of examining the cognitive and emotional responses of staff to aggression; namely, descriptive vignettes and real incidents of aggression which staff could recall; and (2) to attempt to replicate previous findings supportive of Weiner's model with a new carer group (day centre staff).

Results When staff responses were compared across the hypothetical and real scenarios, using a series of one-way analyses of variance, it was revealed that staff experienced more negative emotions in response to the real incidents of aggression. The present study produced little evidence in support of Weiner's model. However, it was found that staff perceptions of the aggressive clients were linked to their cognitive and emotional responses to the aggression.

Conclusion The theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are considered, and the possible role played by interpersonal attributions in mediating staff responses to aggression is discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jahoda, Professor Andrew
Authors: Wanless, L.K., and Jahoda, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Clinical Specialities
Journal Name:Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:0964-2633
ISSN (Online):1365-2788
Published Online:27 September 2002

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