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J Intellect Disabil Res. 2002 Mar;46(Pt 3):239-49.

Behaviour/mental health problems in young adults with intellectual disability: the impact on families.

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University of California, Riverside, California, USA.



The present authors studied the impact of dual diagnosis [i.e. intellectual disability (ID) and mental disorder] in young adults on their mothers' perceived levels of stress and decisions about placement.


The mothers of 103 young adults with severe ID were interviewed using a 2-3-h in-depth protocol of measures designed to assess their child's adaptive functioning, maladaptive behaviour, mental health problems and negative impact on the family, as well as their own thoughts on out-of-home placement. The Scales of Independent Behavior--Revised Problem Behavior Scale assessed problem behaviours and the Reiss Screen assessed mental disorder.


These measures were highly correlated (r = 0.64), but tapped some different domains of maladaptive behaviour and proved to be most predictive when employed together. Behaviour and/or mental health (B/MH) problems significantly predicted the mothers' perceived negative impact of the young adult on the family, even after controlling for other young adult characteristics. These problems also predicted the family's steps toward seeking out-of-home placement, as did better young adult health and the mother's higher educational attainment; stress did not predict additional variance in placement once these variables were accounted for.


The discussion focuses on the implications for service provision to families of young adults with B/MH problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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