Attributional styles of support staff working with people with intellectual disabilities exhibiting challenging behaviour

K. H. J. M. van den Bogaard*, H. Nijman, P. J. C. M. Embregts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Background:
Attributions are cognitive variables that influence a person's behaviour. Although a large volume of research has been conducted on the attributions of support staff with regard to challenging behaviour (CB) exhibited by people with intellectual disabilities (ID), studies on patterns of attributional dimensions (i.e. attributional styles) are scarce.

Method:
Using semi‐structured interviews, 19 support staff members were asked to describe incidents of aggressive, self‐injurious and sexualized challenging behaviour. Data on attributions were analysed using the Leeds Attributional Coding System.

Results:
Four attributional styles differed significantly for aggressive, self‐injurious and sexualized challenging behaviour. In addition, support staff members largely attributed these three types of CB to characteristics and behaviour of clients with ID.

Conclusions:
The results indicate that it is important to train support staff to recognize and understand the ways in which their attributions and behaviour influence the existence and maintenance of CB.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-474
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • ADULTS
  • AGGRESSIVE-BEHAVIOR
  • BURNOUT
  • CARE STAFF
  • CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS
  • EMOTIONAL-REACTIONS
  • EXPERIENCES
  • INDIVIDUALS
  • RESPONSES
  • SERVICES
  • attributional style
  • attributions
  • challenging behaviour
  • intellectual disability
  • support staff

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