Challenging behaviour in Phelan-McDermid Syndrome

Powis, Laurie Anne (2013). Challenging behaviour in Phelan-McDermid Syndrome. University of Birmingham. Clin.Psy.D.

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To date, no research has examined the presence of challenging behaviour in Phelan McDermid syndrome (PMS). In this paper, study one adopts a questionnaire methodology to delineate the prevalence and aetiology of challenging behaviour in thirty participants with PMS. Study two adopts an interview methodology to examine the form, frequency, severity and function of this behaviour in eighteen participants.

Responses to the Challenging Behaviour Questionnaire indicated that, thirteen (43.3%) participants with PMS showed self-injurious behaviour, thirteen (43.3%) showed physical aggression, and twenty (66.7%) showed destruction of property. Examination of associated characteristics indicated that self-injury was associated with impulsivity; aggression was associated with younger age and compulsive behaviour; and destruction of property was associated with impulsivity and stereotyped behaviour.

In study two, responses to the Challenging Behaviour Interview highlighted multiple topographies of challenging behaviour. The behaviour of most concern typically occurred every fifteen minutes. Examination of behavioural function showed that self-stimulation was the predominant function for self-injury and destruction of property. However, many behaviours were found to serve multiple functions.

The results of this paper emphasise the importance of building causal models of challenging behavior that incorporates both person characteristics and environmental factors. Limitations and areas for future research are discussed.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)


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