The assessment of mental health in children with intellectual disability

Gilmore, Linda, Shochet, Ian M., Campbell, Marilyn A., & Roberts, Clare (2010) The assessment of mental health in children with intellectual disability. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 23(5), p. 423.

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Aim: Individuals with intellectual disability (ID) have higher rates of mental health problems than the general population. Assessment tends to rely heavily on self-report, but persons with ID often have difficulties in identifying and describing their own thoughts and feelings. Measures that are psychometrically sound with typically developing populations may not be as robust in samples with ID. The aim of the current study was to examine a range of self-report measures for assessing the mental health of children with ID, and to consider the appropriateness of minor modifications to those instruments. Method: The participants were 58 children with ID (mean 11.7 years) attending Year 6 in mainstream primary schools. At the first time point they completed four established measures of depression, anxiety and mood. Minor modifications were made to wording and format at re-administration six months later. Results: Internal consistency varied considerably across measures. Modifications resulted in small or no improvements, but the results were relatively consistent over time and across similar measures. Some gender differences were evident. Conclusions: The findings confirm the difficulties that children with ID may have when responding to self-report measures of mental health, and suggest that care should be taken in choice of instruments. While modifications can produce small improvements, it is clear that more robust measures of mental health are needed for persons with ID.

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ID Code: 52750
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Special Issue: Abstracts of the Third International Conference of IASSID-Europe, 20-22 October, 2010, Rome
Keywords: intellectual disability, children, mental health, measurement issues
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-3148.2010.00582
ISSN: 1360-2322
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Special Education and Disability (130312)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 26 Jul 2012 05:59
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:24

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