Associations between mental health problems and challenging behavior in adults with intellectual disabilities: A test of the behavioral equivalents hypothesis

PAINTER, Jon, HASTINGS, Richard, INGHAM, Barry, TREVITHICK, Liam and ROY, Ashok (2018). Associations between mental health problems and challenging behavior in adults with intellectual disabilities: A test of the behavioral equivalents hypothesis. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 1-16.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/19315864.2018.1431747

Abstract

Introduction Current research findings in the field of intellectual disabilities (ID) regarding the relationship between mental health problems and challenging behavior are inconclusive and/or contradictory. The aim of this study was to further investigate the putative association between these two, highly prevalent phenomena, in people with ID and specifically to explore the hypothesis that challenging behaviors may be behavioral equivalents of mental health problems. Methods A sample of 160 adults accessing secondary care ID health services were assessed using five validated measures. These included ratings of severity of disability, mental health problems, Autism behaviors, physical health problems, and four different aspects of challenging behavior. In conjunction with demographic information, four multiple regression analyses were undertaken to examine the interaction between mental health problems (moderated by severity of disability) and ratings of overall challenging behavior, aggression, self-injurious behavior, and stereotypy. In each case; age, gender, Autism, and physical health problems were included as covariates. Results There was a statistically significant association between mental health problems and ratings of overall challenging behavior, as well as the moderating effect of severity of disability. Importantly, the positive association between mental health problems and challenging behavior was only significant at more severe levels of disability. Conclusions These findings support the 'behavioral equivalents' hypothesis for mental health problems and challenging behaviors. However, further longitudinal research is required before this hypothesis can be considered unequivocally supported.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mental health, challenging behavior, intellectual disabilities, behavioral equivalents, adults, psychopathology, ASD
Departments: Health and Well-being > Department of Nursing and Midwifery
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/19315864.2018.1431747
Depositing User: Jon Painter
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2018 15:55
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2018 14:05
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18201

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