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Title: Emotional perception and regulation and their relationship with challenging behaviour in people with a learning disability
Author: Davies, Bronwen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 6298
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2013
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Objectives: This study explores the relationships between challenging behaviour, emotional recognition, alexithymia and cognitive emotional regulation strategies in a population of people with learning disabilities. The Emotional Recognition Questionnaire was developed to measure an individual’s ability to identify the emotions they would feel in a given situation. One objective of this study was to assess the validity and reliability of the tool. Methodology: Cross-sectional data was collected from 96 participants with a learning disability and 95 of their carers. The service user participants completed the Emotional Recognition Questionnaire (ERQ), and adapted versions of the Alexithymia Questionnaire for Children (AQC) and the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire for Children (CERQ-k). Carer participants completed the Checklist for Challenging Behaviour (CBC) and the Observer Alexithymia Scale (OAS). Correlational analyses were computed to identify relationships between the variables and linear regression was used to identify the predictive value of variables in relation to the main outcome variables of challenging behaviour frequency, management difficulty and severity. Finally, a between group analysis was conducted to compare the emotional recognition abilities of people with high frequency challenging behaviour with those with low or no challenging behaviour. Analyses were conducted to test the hypotheses. Results: No relationship was found between the ERQ and the AQC so the construct validity of the ERQ was not supported. The results highlighted significant negative associations between emotional recognition abilities and challenging behaviour frequency and management difficulty. Significant differences in emotional recognition abilities were found between people with high frequency challenging behaviour and those with low or no challenging behaviours. Observer rated alexithymia was significantly related to challenging behaviour frequency, management difficulty and severity. Cognitive emotional regulation strategies and service user measured alexithymia were not, however, related to challenging behaviour. Other relationships were found between service user rated alexithymia and the cognitive emotional regulation strategies of Catastrophizing and acceptance, and emotional recognition was negatively related to self-blame. Conclusions: Overall, the study suggests that emotional recognition and observer related alexithymia are important in understanding challenging behaviour presented by people with a learning disability. This has implications for clinical practice and further research. Additional research needs to be conducted to evaluate the construct validity and test-retest reliability of the Emotional Recognition Questionnaire.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RZ Other systems of medicine