The analysis of challenging relations: influences on interactive behaviour of staff towards clients with intellectual disabilities
Version of Record online: 11 MAR 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd, MENCAP & IASSIDD
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Volume 58, Issue 11, pages 1072–1082, November 2014
How to Cite
Willems, A. P. A. M., Embregts, P. J. C. M., Bosman, A. M. T. and Hendriks, A. H. C. (2014), The analysis of challenging relations: influences on interactive behaviour of staff towards clients with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 58: 1072–1082. doi: 10.1111/jir.12027
- Issue online: 10 OCT 2014
- Version of Record online: 11 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JAN 2013
- challenging behaviour;
- emotional intelligence;
- intellectual disabilities;
- interpersonal model;
- interpersonal staff behaviour;
- staff attitude
Relationships between support staff and clients with intellectual disability (ID) are important for quality of care, especially when dealing with challenging behaviour. Building upon an interpersonal model, this study investigates the influence of client challenging behaviour, staff attitude and staff emotional intelligence on interactive behaviour of one of these relationship partners, being support staff.
A total of 158 support staff members completed a questionnaire on staff interactive behaviour for 158 clients with ID and challenging behaviour, as well as two questionnaires on staff interpersonal attitude and emotional intelligence.
Confronted with challenging behaviour as opposed to no challenging behaviour, staff reported less friendly, more assertive control and less support-seeking interpersonal behaviour. Also, staff used more proactive thinking and more self-reflection in dealing with challenging behaviour. Staff interpersonal attitude in general, mainly a harsh-dominant-resentful attitude, had a significant influence on most staff interactive behaviours towards an individual client with challenging behaviour. The influence of staff emotional intelligence, specifically intrapersonal abilities, on staff interactive behaviour towards an individual client with challenging behaviour was somewhat limited.
This research supports the necessity for training staff in general interpersonal attitudes towards clients as well as training in intrapersonal emotional intelligence, when confronted with challenging behaviour. Future research should focus more on the bidirectional dynamics of staff and client interactions.