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A prospective study of the relationship between adverse life events and trauma in adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number12
Volume58
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)1131-1140
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Background
Research has demonstrated a relationship between the experience of life events and psychopathology in people with intellectual disabilities (ID), however few studies have established causal links and to date no prospective studies have utilised a measure of trauma that has been developed specifically for this population group.

Method
This 6-month prospective study examined longitudinal relationships between adverse life events and trauma in 99 adults with mild to moderate ID.

Results
Life events during the previous 6 months were significantly predictive of levels of trauma as measured by the self-report Lancaster and Northgate trauma scales (LANTS), and the informant LANTS behavioural changes, frequency and severity sub-scales. This prospective causal relationship was demonstrated while controlling for any prior life events or pre-existing trauma, though the relationship was not moderated by social support.

Conclusions
Evidence of a causal relationship between adverse life events and trauma symptoms is important for treatment planning and funding allocation.