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J Intellect Disabil Res. 2008 May;52(Pt 5):393-403. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2007.01039.x. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

Social goals and conflict strategies of individuals with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities who present problems of aggression.

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  • 1Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Glasgow, Scotland.



A few recent studies have adopted a social cognitive perspective to explore how individuals with intellectual disabilities (IDs), who present problems of aggression, view their social world. The focus has mainly been on participants' perceptions of others' behaviour within conflict situations. The present exploratory study aims to compliment existing research by exploring social cognitive factors that may influence how individuals respond to conflict.


Study was carried out with 20 aggressive and 20 non-aggressive men and women who have a mild to moderate ID. The 'Social Goals and Strategies for Conflict' (SGASC) assessment was devised to explore whether group or gender differences could be found in participants' expected outcomes of aggressive strategies, their expected outcomes of submissive strategies and their emotional reaction to these outcomes. Participants' social goals within hypothetical situations of conflict were also explored.


It was found that aggressive and non-aggressive participants have different social goals. There were no significant differences for expected outcomes of aggression or submissiveness. Nevertheless, a number of trends suggest that more aggressive participants expect negative outcomes for submissiveness compared with their non-aggressive peers.


While the findings of this study are tentative, investigating the social outcomes that are valued by individuals with ID who present problems of aggression appears to be a promising area for further research, with possible implications for clinical assessment and treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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