Davies, Louise Ellen (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Background: The prevalence, persistence and often early onset of challenging behaviour in individuals with severe intellectual disabilities allude to the potential of early intervention. Identification of children at high risk of challenging behaviour would enable effective implementation of this strategy. Method: Questionnaire studies examined the association between child characteristics and the presence of challenging behaviour at one point in time and 18 months later using the Challenging Behaviour Screening Questionnaire (CBSQ). Natural observations, questionnaires and objective measures were utilised to assess the validity of the CBSQ. The functional and communicative nature of the challenging behaviour demonstrated by participants at high risk was examined using experimental functional and descriptive analyses. Results: The relative risk of challenging behaviour at one point in time and its persistence 18 months later was significantly increased by repetitive, restricted, overactive and impulsive behaviour. The concurrent and convergent validity of the CBSQ was demonstrated. Much of the challenging behaviour demonstrated by high risk participants appeared functional and closely associated with communicative behaviours. Discussion: Theoretical underpinnings of challenging behaviour in this population are examined with emphasis on the interaction between child characteristics and environmental variables and the potential success of early intervention programmes for these children proposed.
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