Self-injury, aggression and destruction in children with severe intellectual disability: incidence, persistence and novel, predictive behavioural risk markers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Finch Road Primary Care Centre
  • Cerebra Centre
  • Finch Road Primary Care Centre

Abstract

Background: A risk informed, early intervention strategy for self-injurious, aggressive and destructive behaviours in children with severe intellectual disability is gaining support. The aims of this study were to establish the cumulative incidence and persistence of self-injury, aggression and destruction and the relationship between these behaviours and two potentially predictive behavioural risk markers (repetitive behaviour, and impulsivity and overactivity) in children at high risk. Methods: In a longitudinal design self-injury, aggression and destruction were assessed by teachers of 417 children with severe intellectual disability on two occasions separated by 15-18 months. Results: Aggression, destruction and self-injury were persistent (69%, 57% and 58% respectively). Repetitive and restricted behaviours and interests (RRBI) and overactivity/impulsivity (O/I) were significantly associated with aggression (O/I OR = 1.291, p<.001), destruction (RRBI OR 1.201, p= .013; O/I OR 1.278, p<.001) and/or self-injury (RRBI, OR 1.25, p= .004; O/I OR = 1.117, p<.001). The relative risk of the cumulative incidence of self-injury, aggression and destruction was significantly increased by repetitive and restricted behaviours and interests (self-injury 2.66, destruction 2.16) and/or overactivity/impulsivity (aggression 2.42, destruction 2.07). Conclusions: The results provide evidence that repetitive and restricted behaviours and interests, and overactivity/impulsivity, are risk markers for the onset of self-injury, aggression and destruction within the already high risk group of children with severe intellectual disability.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-301
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume49-50
Early online date5 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • Aggression, Challenging behaviour, Destruction, Self-injury, Severe intellectual disability