An exploratory study of teachers’ knowledge about the symptoms of depression in young people with and without intellectual disabilities

Laurence Taggart, Paula McMullan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research has shown that children and young peoplewith intellectual disabilities are at a greater risk of developing apsychiatric disorder than their non-disabled peers. However, noinformation exists regarding teachers’ knowledge of the signs andsymptoms of these conditions. Using a postal questionnaire, 36teachers working within schools for children and young peoplewith severe intellectual disabilities in one part of the UK wereasked about their knowledge of depression. Results indicated thatthe teachers reported few signs and symptoms. Furthermore, theteachers also highlighted a lack of confidence in working with thisdoubly disadvantaged population. This study shows that teachershave a vital role to play in the early recognition of psychiatric signsand symptoms in young people with intellectual disabilities.Teachers must also receive the appropriate education and trainingin an attempt to prompt early referral to specialists for a detailedand comprehensive psychiatric assessment rather than continuingto manage such young people’s challenging behaviours.
LanguageEnglish
Pages183-195
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disabilities
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

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Intellectual Disability
Depression
Psychiatry
Vulnerable Populations
Disabled Persons
Signs and Symptoms
Referral and Consultation
Education
Research
Population
Surveys and Questionnaires

Cite this

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abstract = "Research has shown that children and young peoplewith intellectual disabilities are at a greater risk of developing apsychiatric disorder than their non-disabled peers. However, noinformation exists regarding teachers’ knowledge of the signs andsymptoms of these conditions. Using a postal questionnaire, 36teachers working within schools for children and young peoplewith severe intellectual disabilities in one part of the UK wereasked about their knowledge of depression. Results indicated thatthe teachers reported few signs and symptoms. Furthermore, theteachers also highlighted a lack of confidence in working with thisdoubly disadvantaged population. This study shows that teachershave a vital role to play in the early recognition of psychiatric signsand symptoms in young people with intellectual disabilities.Teachers must also receive the appropriate education and trainingin an attempt to prompt early referral to specialists for a detailedand comprehensive psychiatric assessment rather than continuingto manage such young people’s challenging behaviours.",
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