The relationship between life events and psychopathology amongst children with intellectual disabilities

Chris Hatton, Eric Emerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Research has established a clear relationship between life events and psychopathology amongst children generally, but this relationship has not been investigated in children with intellectual disabilities. Methods A secondary analysis of data collected by the 1999 ONS survey of the Mental Health of Children and Adolescents in Great Britain, investigating associations between adverse life events and psychopathology amongst 264 children with intellectual disabilities and 10040 children without intellectual disabilities. Results Children with intellectual disabilities were more likely to experience a greater number and range of adverse life events than children without intellectual disabilities, a difference partly accounted for by family poverty. For children with and without intellectual disabilities, there were robust associations between several life events and child psychiatric disorders, most strongly emotional disorder. There also appeared to be a cumulative effect of life events on the psychopathology of children with intellectual disabilities. Conclusions Adverse life events play an important role in the psychopathology of children with intellectual disabilities and require further research attention. Policy interventions to reduce family poverty may have an indirect effect upon child psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalJOURNAL OF APPLIED RESEARCH IN INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Children
  • Families
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Life events
  • Psychopathology

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