Smith, Catherine Mary (2010)
Foren.Psy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis examines the assessment and treatment of problematic and offending behaviours within the Deaf population, to identify pertinent issues for the management of individuals displaying such behaviours. Chapter 1 reviews the relevant literature related to problematic and offending behaviours in the Deaf population and outlines the remaining thesis. Chapter 2 presents a systematic review evaluating the relationship between hearing parent Deaf child dyads and behavioural problems demonstrated by Deaf children and adolescents. Despite highlighting a number of methodological limitations, the review indicates that hearing parent-Deaf child dyads have some effect on the demonstration of Deaf children and adolescent behavioural problems. The empirical paper in Chapter 3 investigates the vulnerabilities of Deaf individuals in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and the effectiveness and use of the policies implemented to protect Deaf people involved in the CJS. The findings are based on the perceptions of professionals and British Sign Language interpreters who have experience of working with Deaf people involved in the CJS as well as police officers’ experiences. The findings revealed that neither the professionals working with Deaf people involved in the CJS, nor the CJS in terms of the police, courts or prisons were perceived as possessing sufficient skills to meet the needs of Deaf individuals. Neither was the CJS equipped to implement and adhere in full to the requirements of policies aimed at protecting Deaf people. Chapter 4 examines the predictive validity of the Historical/Clinical/Risk Management- 20 (HCR-20; Webster, Douglas, Douglas Eaves & Hart, 1997) showing it to be a valid and reliable tool within hearing forensic populations. However, the review indicates the need for further research within the Deaf population and makes recommendations for such work. An individualised approach to the assessment and treatment of a Deaf forensic in-patient with Borderline Personality Disorder is presented in Chapter 5. The case study highlights that assessments and treatments developed for the hearing population are insufficient in meeting the treatment needs unique to Deafness without necessary adaptations. Chapter 6 offers concluding comments, discussing further implications for clinical practice.
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