University of Leicester
Andrews2008SJDClinPsy.pdf (1.27 MB)

A Qualitative Analysis of factors influencing Staff Beliefs about the Challenging Behaviour exhibited by Adults with a Learning Disability.

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posted on 2009-06-17, 12:18 authored by Sarah Jane Andrews
Purpose: To review the literature on staff attributions of challenging behaviour (CB) exhibited by adults with a learning disability (LD). In particular, those studies which utilise Weiner’s (1986) attribution model. Method: The review examined studies which contribute to understanding how staff understand and respond to CB exhibited by adults with LD. Studies were seen to do so in one of two ways. Firstly, by examining factors that influence staff attributions of CB. Secondly, by examining the effect of training programmes on staff attributions of CB. Results: Studies using Weiner’s (1986) attribution model to examine staffs causal beliefs about CB exhibited by adults with LD highlighted the influence of particular cognitive and emotional factors. Variables specific to both the member of staff and the clients that can be seen to influence staff attributions of CB were also highlighted. Studies examining the impact of training on staff attributions of CB exhibited by adults with LD have yielded inconsistent results. Therefore, conclusions cannot be drawn regarding the efficiency of staff training on CB. The evidence provided by these studies suggests the utility of the attribution model is disputable. Problems with the validity and reliability of the methods such studies use are highlighted, and alternative approaches are noted. Conclusions: The review highlighted the need for future research in the field to adopt alternative models to understand staff beliefs about CB, as the utility of Weiner’s (1986) model is questionable. It also draws attention to the need to consider alternative methods of enquiry as the validity of single-scale measures in assessing staff attributions is questionable.



Holland, Angela; Allen, Steve

Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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