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Staff attributions towards men with intellectual disability who have a history of sexual offending and challenging behaviour

Mackinlay, L., Langdon, Peter E. (2009) Staff attributions towards men with intellectual disability who have a history of sexual offending and challenging behaviour. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53 (9). pp. 807-815. ISSN 0964-2633. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01194.x) (KAR id:36148)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01194.x

Abstract

Background: Staff working within secure services for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) are likely to work with sexual offenders, but very little attention has been paid to how they think about this sexual offending behaviour.

Method: Forty-eight staff working within secure services for people with ID were recruited and completed the Attribution Style Questionnaire in relation to the sexual offending behaviour and challenging behaviour of men with mild ID. Attributions towards challenging behaviour and sexual offending were compared and relationships between level of ID and seriousness of the sexual offence were explored.

Results: The results indicated that staff attributed sexual offending as more external to the staff group than they did for challenging behaviour. Sexual offending behaviour was also seen as more stable, and less controllable by people with ID than was challenging behaviour. Sexual offending was also attributed as more uncontrollable by the staff group than challenging behaviour. There was a significant negative correlation between general intellectual functioning and several attributional dimensions regarding sexual offending, but not challenging behaviour. Sexual offending that was coded as more serious was attributed as universal and uncontrollable by the staff group.

Conclusions: The differences between staff attributions regarding challenging behaviour and sexual offending potentially relate to the decision-making processes involved in deciding whether or not to involve criminal justice agencies when someone with ID commits a sexual offence. Further research within this area is warranted.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01194.x
Uncontrolled keywords: Attribution theory; sexual offending; challenging behaviour; staff groups; attributional style questionnaire
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Peter Langdon
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2013 14:54 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 12:48 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/36148 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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