A comparison of the emotional and behavioural problems of intellectual disability offenders in medium and low security

Ashworth, Sarah and Mooney, Paul (2016) A comparison of the emotional and behavioural problems of intellectual disability offenders in medium and low security. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, 7 (3). pp. 109-115. ISSN 2050-8824

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


There are few reliable psychometric measures of the psychopathology of offenders with intellectual disabilities (ID). However, previous research has indicated that the emotional problems scale (EPS) is useful in identifying a range of treatment needs and in predicting risk to self and others. The purpose of this paper is to compare the severity of the emotional and behavioural problems of a small sample of offenders with ID in medium and low secure services, as assessed by EPS. Additionally, the data are tentatively compared with those reported in previous research to precipitate discussion regarding the changes in clinical populations in secure care over time.

The study collected demographic and EPS data for patients with ID (n=25) on medium secure and a low secure wards. Data were collected as part of routine clinical practice, with EPS forms being completed by nursing and other multi-disciplinary staff.

It was found that there was no statistically significant difference in EPS scores between medium and low secure patients with ID. The authors also highlight differences between the current sample and the normative data collected by previous research.

The data regarding the psychopathology of medium and low secure patients with ID provide insight into the ever changing resourcing needs and risk profiles of this complex patient group. In addition, there is a dearth of empirical research that comments on the clinical differences observed over time in forensic populations. As the current data differ from pre-existing normative data, the potential shift in populations and also implications for the accuracy of clinical decision making based on the assessment are discussed.

Keywords:Offenders, Assessment, Intellectual disability, Behavioural problems, Emotional problems scale, Secure services
Subjects:L Social studies > L510 Health & Welfare
L Social studies > L560 Probation/After Care
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
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ID Code:27946
Deposited On:30 Nov 2017 15:57

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