An exploration of management strategies for anxiety in children and young people with learning disabilities and autism

Gobrial, Ereny (2010) An exploration of management strategies for anxiety in children and young people with learning disabilities and autism. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT Although parents’ involvement has been identified as important for interventions for their children and young people, little research is conducted to explore parental management strategies for anxiety in children and young people with mild to moderate learning disabilities (LD) and autism. Given that children and young people with LD and autism are more vulnerable to experience anxiety, the overall purpose of this thesis was to identify the prevalence rates of anxiety and explore management strategies for anxiety in children and young people with LD and autism. Three studies were conducted to identify prevalence of anxiety and develop and implement a parental programme of management strategies for anxiety in children and young people with LD and autism. In the first study of this research “Screening study”, 150 children and young people with LD and autism were screened for anxiety using Reiss Scale and Glasgow Anxiety Scale. Results from the screening indicated that children and young people with LD and autism have high prevalence rates of anxiety (32.6%). The second study of this research “Developing a programme” was to develop a programme of management strategies for anxiety from parents’, carer’s, teachers’ and health professionals’ views. In this study parents and teachers were interviewed regarding the management strategies they use to manage their children’s / young people’s anxiety. Results from 34 interviews revealed that sixteen different management strategies were identified by parents and teachers of children and young people with LD and autism. Following this, the management strategies identified by parents, carers and teachers were discussed with an expert panel of health professionals to develop a parental programme “Calm Child Programme” of the most useful and appropriate strategies for those children and young people. The Calm Child Programme was developed using Delphi method to identify a consensus approach with professionals. This consisted of ten useful management strategies for parents to manage their children’s and young people’s anxiety. Finally, the third study of this research “Implementing the calm child programme” was a pilot study of the implementation for the Calm Child Programme. This programme of parental management strategies for anxiety was piloted with seven parents of children and young people with LD and autism. The results from the pilot study indicate reduction in the children’s and young people’s anxiety after its use by parents. Parents reported that the developed strategies were useful in managing their children’s and young people’s anxiety. This research has two key contributions to knowledge. Firstly, this research highlighted the theme of anxiety of children and young people with LD and autism. The identification of high prevalence of anxiety in this population indicates the need for management strategies. Secondly, this research aimed to improve the paucity of autism specific research as it relates to anxiety management strategies in children and young people with autism. This research explored a new programme of parental management strategies for anxiety in children and young people with LD and autism. This research has contributed to our understanding of using systematic and evidence based management approaches in supporting and involving parents.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Health, Community and Education Studies > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
University Services > Research and Innovation Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Related URLs:
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2010 14:05
Last Modified: 08 May 2017 20:12
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2490

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