Bramston, Paul and Fogarty, Gerard J. and Cummins, Robert A. (1999) The nature of stressors experienced by people with an intellectual disability. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 12 (1). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1360-2322
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[Abstract]: There is no systematic empirical research base on stress perceived by people with an intellectual disability. This is somewhat surprising considering the changes in philosophy and service delivery models across the western world that have resulted in people with an intellectual disability having to be at the forefront of massive attitudinal shifts within society. In this study, administration of the Lifestress Inventory to 459 people with a mild or moderate intellectual disability and to a reference group of university students revealed that people with a disability reported experiencing an average of 8.57 stressors in a list of 31 stressors, while students reported experiencing an average of 12.02 of these same stressors. When the ratings of the individual stressors were examined, however, it was clear that whilst the disabled group expereinced fewer stressors, they tended to assign higher impact values (on a scale from 1 to 4) to the stressors they did experience (p < .001). Comparisons between the nature of stressors reported by both groups revealed that students reported significantly more occasions where they were not coping and more general worries, while people with an intellectual disability reported slightly more stress from negative interpersonal relationships. Achieving a clearer picture of the stressors impinging upon the lives of people with an intellectual disability is a critical factor in the design of appropriate programs of interventions.
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