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The effect of diagnostic label on care staff’s perceptions of cause of challenging behaviour in individuals with learning disabilities

Gifford, C. and Knott, F. (2016) The effect of diagnostic label on care staff’s perceptions of cause of challenging behaviour in individuals with learning disabilities. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44 (4). pp. 322-328. ISSN 1468-3156

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/bld.12171

Abstract/Summary

Background: This study investigated whether care staff’s causal attributions and emotional reactions to the challenging behaviour displayed by service users was influenced by the service user’s diagnostic label. Materials and Method: One hundred and twenty care staff were randomly allocated to one of three conditions. Participants viewed a video of a senior staff member describing a service user, varying only in diagnostic label (autism, learning disability or Down syndrome). Participants then rated their endorsement of possible causes and emotional reactions to challenging behaviour. Results: Participants in the Autism and Down syndrome groups made more use of biomedical causes and less use of learned behaviour as an explanation for challenging behaviour than those in the Learning Disabilities group. Those in the former groups reported more positive and fewer negative emotions than those in the Learning Disabilities group. Conclusions: The way staff viewed people with learning disabilities was affected by their diagnostic label. Implications for further research and training has been discussed.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) Research Network
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:69293
Publisher:Wiley

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