"Connectedness" between people with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour and support staff: Perceptions of psychologists and support staff

Tess Tournier, Lex Hendriks, A. Jahoda, R.P. Hastings, Petri Embregts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background:
The tacit practical knowledge of psychologists and support staff to foster a real connection between support staff and people with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour was explored.

Method:
Six dyads comprising individuals with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour and their support staff were video recorded during joint engagement in an activity. Ten psychologists and ten support staff pinpointed moments of real connection in a video compilation, and shared their interpretations about what they considered to be a real connection.

Results:
Participants designated real connections as occurring when they noticed concrete interactions taking place. Based on thematic analysis of the data, four themes were identified that encapsulated what professionals deemed to be a real connection.

Discussion:
Joint engagement in an activity appears to be a context that fosters opportunities for real connection. Furthermore, support staff should adopt a sensitive attitude and create a safe atmosphere, to establish real connections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-86
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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