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Further examination of relationships between events and psychiatric symptoms in adults with intellectual disability

Hamilton, David, Sutherland, G. and Iaiono, T. 2005, Further examination of relationships between events and psychiatric symptoms in adults with intellectual disability, Journal of intellectual disability research, vol. 49, no. 11, pp. 839-844, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2005.00761.x.

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Title Further examination of relationships between events and psychiatric symptoms in adults with intellectual disability
Author(s) Hamilton, David
Sutherland, G.
Iaiono, T.
Journal name Journal of intellectual disability research
Volume number 49
Issue number 11
Start page 839
End page 844
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Place of publication Chichester, England
Publication date 2005-11
ISSN 0964-2633
1365-2788
Keyword(s) adults
DBC-A
intellectual disability
life events
life stress
Summary Background: It has been proposed that people with intellectual disability (ID) might be similar to the general population in the way they respond to significant life events. Some preliminary findings have demonstrated that adults with ID who have experienced recent life events have an increased probability of having psychiatric problems. The aims of the present study were to determine whether previous findings can be replicated, and to examine the influence of additional diagnoses associated with ID on the strength of relationships between life event frequency and psychiatric problems.

Methods: Adults with ID (n = 624), living either in staffed community accommodation or in family or foster homes, were assessed on the Developmental Behaviour Checklist for Adults (DBC-A) and a 37-item life events checklist. Carers who knew the person well acted as proxy informants.

Results: People living in staffed accommodation experienced more life events than people living with natural or foster families. Life event frequency predicted DBC-A total score, five of six sub-scale scores, and caseness status, after significant demographic factors were taken into account. However, the strength of correlations between life event frequency and DBC-A total score varied among sub-groups identified by type of developmental disability and level of ID.

Conclusions: Weak but significant associations between emotional and behavioural problems and life events experienced by adults with ID were demonstrated, but it was also shown that the strength of such associations varies among sub-groups of this heterogeneous population. Future research needs to take account of the circumstances surrounding the life changes, the period of time over which changes might have taken place, and the meaning that the person might attach to the changes. Research into the causal relationship between exposure to life events and the onset of psychiatric problems is also warranted.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2005.00761.x
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30004176

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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