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“It put control back onto my family situation”: family experiences of positive behaviour support

Sinead Botterill (Royal Holloway, University of London , London, UK)
Susan Cottam (Camden MOSAIC – Integrated Service for Disabled Children, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK)
Alex Fowke (Psychology Department, Royal Holloway University of London , Egham, UK)
Kate Theodore (Psychology Department, Royal Holloway University of London , Egham, UK)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Article publication date: 2 May 2019

Issue publication date: 22 July 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

Positive behaviour support (PBS) is currently considered best practice for managing challenging behaviour in young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A key principle of PBS is that all members of the person’s support network participate in the assessment and intervention. It is, therefore, important to understand what factors act as facilitators or barriers to family engagement; however, research in this area is limited. The purpose of this paper is to conduct a novel piece of qualitative research analysis into experiences of family members of young people who have received family-based PBS.

Design/methodology/approach

Eight parents of a young person with an intellectual or developmental disability who had received PBS were interviewed about their experiences and factors they found helpful and hindering in terms of their engagement. Thematic analysis allowed a detailed and robust interpretation of the qualitative data.

Findings

Five superordinate themes were identified, namely, PBS is more than just strategies, considering the family context, the therapist/family relationship, acknowledging challenges and the ongoing nature of the problem and supporting family member change.

Research limitations/implications

Although research was rigorously conducted, the small sample size mean findings should be considered preliminary.

Originality/value

The literature related to family engagement in PBS is limited and largely based on the opinions of professionals. This study identified factors that parents themselves felt were helpful and hindering in terms of their engagement and offers practical suggestions for services and future research.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Heather Armstrong and the staff from Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and West London NHS Trust who assisted with recruitment, and the participants who gave up their valuable time.

Citation

Botterill, S., Cottam, S., Fowke, A. and Theodore, K. (2019), "“It put control back onto my family situation”: family experiences of positive behaviour support", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 13 No. 3/4, pp. 91-101. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-11-2018-0049

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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