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Title: Social cognitive causes of aggression for adults with an intellectual disability
Author: Pert, Carol
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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The two exploratory studies presented in this thesis were carried out with 20 Aggressive and 20 Non Aggressive men and women who have an intellectual disability. In study one the ‘Social Goals and Outcomes of Aggression and Submissiveness’ (SGOAS) assessment was devised to explore whether group or gender differences could be found in participants’ expected outcomes of aggressiveness, their expected outcomes of submissiveness and their emotional reaction to these outcomes. Differences in the social goals underlying their anticipated behaviour within hypothetical situations of conflict were also explored. It was shown that Aggressive and Non Aggressive participants expect different outcomes for submissiveness and have different social goals. There were no differences found in their expected outcomes of aggression across group or gender. In study two, group and gender differences in participants’ views of Self and their views of a stereotyped Aggressive character (SAG) were explored. Within subject differences in participants’ views of Self, compared with their views of the SAG character were also considered. For this purpose the ‘Self Perceptions and Aggressive Identity’ (SPAGI) assessment was devised, which includes seventeen predefined descriptors categorised in three domains of (i) Interpersonal Power, (ii) Social Identity and (iii) Emotions. Four descriptors were rated differently for ‘Self’ by Aggressive and Non Aggressive participants’. Three of these descriptors were in the domain of Interpersonal Power, with Aggressive participants expecting themselves to have lower power than did Non Aggressive participants. No differences were shown across groups in their views of the SAG character and no gender differences were found. It is concluded that these findings offer evidence of the need for broad assessments of aggression that take social cognitive factors into account. It is suggested that clinicians need to understand more about how participants with a learning disability and problems of aggression perceive their interpersonal world and which social outcomes they value or seek to avoid.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available