The phenomenology of temper outbursts in intellectual disabilities

Cressey, Helen Margaret (2017). The phenomenology of temper outbursts in intellectual disabilities. University of Birmingham. Clin.Psy.D.

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Background: Despite a well-established literature on challenging behaviours, research on temper outbursts in intellectual disabilities is limited, with implications for behaviour management and quality of life. This study explores the phenomenology of temper outbursts in intellectual disabilities with specific reference to Lowe syndrome, a rare genetic syndrome.

Systematic review: A review of the experimental functional analytic literature tested the hypothesis that temper outbursts frequently occur in response to thwarted goal-directed behaviour, and might therefore be strongly associated with a tangible function. Operational definitions of challenging behaviours were extracted from 338 individual functional analyses for people with intellectual disabilities. Evidence was found for behavioural loading onto function for self-bite (tangible) and tearing objects (attention). No other associations were found and there was no support for the initial hypothesis.

Empirical research: A descriptive analysis of temper outbursts in Lowe syndrome was conducted using semi-structured interviews with caregivers of seventeen people with Lowe syndrome. Comparisons were made with similar work on Prader-Willi syndrome by Tunnicliffe, Woodcock, Bull, Oliver, & Penhallow, 2014. Outbursts in Lowe syndrome were found to be of high frequency and were associated with higher levels of physical aggression and property destruction than outbursts in Prader Willi syndrome.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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