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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2014

Nancy J. Razza, Laura Schwartz Dayan, Daniel Tomasulo and Michelle S. Ballan

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to document the relationship between intellectual disability (ID) and psychopathology; to raise awareness of the ongoing lag in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to document the relationship between intellectual disability (ID) and psychopathology; to raise awareness of the ongoing lag in professional training for psychologists in the area of mental health treatment for people with intellectual disabilities; and, to provide recommendations for advancing professional education and, ultimately, adequate mental health treatment availability for people with intellectual disabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the literature on prevalence of mental health problems in people with intellectual disabilities. At the same time, the paper reviews the training of psychologists relative to the burgeoning growth in awareness of the mental health needs of people with intellectual disabilities.

Findings

The paper concludes that ID is a significant risk factor for psychopathology. In addition, the paper concludes that the education of psychologists regarding the mental health needs of people with intellectual disabilities is insufficient. The authors document the need for incorporating research and treatment advances related to intellectual disabilities and mental health into to the professional training of psychologists. The paper also describe the potential this training holds for improving both the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and the overall competence of psychologists.

Practical implications

This paper provides a literature-based rationale for the need to include education in the mental health needs of people with intellectual disabilities into the general training of mental health professionals. In addition, it provides specific recommendations for how such training can be incorporated into graduate psychology programs.

Originality/value

This paper provides mental health professionals with a review of the growth in understanding of the enormous, unmet mental health needs of people intellectual disabilities, and of the critical role of ID in development of mental health problems. Moreover, this paper builds the case for an important revision in the training of psychologists to include competence in understanding and treating mental health problems across the full spectrum of intellectual functioning.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 8 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 September 2011

Nancy J. Razza, Daniel J. Tomasulo and Dick Sobsey

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to summarize data on rates of sexual abuse and interpersonal trauma in people with intellectual disability (ID); to demonstrate the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to summarize data on rates of sexual abuse and interpersonal trauma in people with intellectual disability (ID); to demonstrate the relationship between such trauma and psychological distress; and to describe a promising treatment technique for such exposed individuals.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature on rates of abuse and trauma among people with ID is presented with particular attention paid to the role of developmental level in both the experience and impact of trauma. Drawing from this understanding of the phenomenology of traumatic exposure in people with ID, the authors present a theoretical framework for psychotherapeutic intervention.

Findings

This paper establishes the inverse relationship between the higher‐than‐average rates of trauma and interpersonal violence in the ID population, co‐occurring with lower‐than‐average access to treatment, and lower‐than‐average treatment model development for this population. Further, this paper provides a description of a theoretically based therapeutic intervention with preliminary research efficacy.

Practical implications

This paper documents three key areas in need of attention in order to reduce the suffering of people with ID: the need to address the high rates of exposure to abuse; the importance of taking into account developmental level when assessing the impact of potentially traumatic experiences; and the efficacy of the interactive‐behavioral model of group psychotherapy for people with ID who have trauma‐related distress.

Originality/value

This paper points to the need for systematic efforts to reduce the rate of traumatic exposure to which people with ID are disproportionately exposed. Moreover, it establishes how important the role of developmental level is in understanding how exposure to abuse may result in the development of psychological disorders. Finally, this paper provides a clear understanding of a targeted therapeutic approach and the need for a system of accessible care so that afflicted individuals may have the benefit of such therapy.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 5 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 September 2011

Dr Robert J. Fletcher

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Abstract

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 5 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

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