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«Yona Lunsky (University of Toronto) and Paul Bramston (University of Southern Queensland) Approximate word count: 4468 words Keywords: Intellectual ...»

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This study has a number of limitations that must be taken into consideration when interpreting its results. First, it is difficult for informants to rate impact of stressful events on the life of a person with ID. While potentially stressful events can readily be rated by informants as occurring/not occurring in someone‟s life, expecting informants to detect how much stress each event induces is difficult. Thus, while the Lifestress-Inf extends our ability to quantify life-event stress in people with disability, there remain some good reasons to use of self-report if at all possible. A second important limitation of this study is its small sample size, with only a minority of individuals having moderate ID. If informant ratings of stress are to be adopted in the future for individuals with a broader range of disabilities, then we need to study informant ratings of more severely impaired individuals. It may be that some stressors from the Lifestress Inventory are less relevant to individuals with more severe disabilities, and that indices such as the Stress Survey Schedule (Groden et al., 2000) or the Life Events List (Owen et al., 2004) may be more appropriate.

In summary, the results of this study suggest that the Lifestress-Inf can be a useful supplement to the Lifestress Inventory (self-report). It seems that an informant nominated by the individual can make a reasonably good estimate of the occurrence of such events, and their perceptions of stress are related to their perceptions of interpersonal difficulties and depressed mood. However, our results suggest that there may be a tendency for informants to focus on skill deficits and lack of coping and self-report to focus on interpersonal difficulties. In addition, some caregivers offer more consistent reports to self reports than others. Clearly, there can be advantages in sourcing both perspectives when assessing stress. Future research should explore whether similar categories of stress are found for individuals with more severe disabilities, and how well caregivers can assess stress in such individuals.

–  –  –

Annison, J.E. (2000). Towards a clearer understanding of the meaning of "home." Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 25(4), 251-262.

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Benson, B.A., & Ivins, J. (1992). Anger, depression and self-concept in adults with mental retardation. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 36, 169-175.

Birleson, P. (1981). The validity of depressive disorder in childhood and the development of a self-rating scale: A research report. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 22, 71-88.

Bradley, E., & Lofchy, J. (2005). Learning disability in the accident and emergency department. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 11, 45-57.

Bramston, P., & Bostock, J. (1994). Measuring perceived stress in people with intellectual disabilities: The development of a new scale. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 19, 149-157 Bramston, P., Bostock, J., & Tehan, J. (1993). The measurement of stress in people with an intellectual disability: A pilot study. International Journal of Disability Development and Education, 40, 95-104.

Bramston, P., & Cummins, R.A. (1998). Stress and the move into community accommodation. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 23, 295-308.

Bramston, P. & Fogarty, G. (1995). Measuring stress in the mildly intellectually handicapped: The factorial structure of the Subjective Stress Scale.

Research in Developmental Disabilities, 16, 117-131.

Bramston, P., & Fogarty, G. (2000). The assessment of emotional distress experienced by people with an intellectual disability: A study of different methodologies. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 21, 487-500.

Bramston, P., Fogarty, G., & Cummins, R. A. (1999). The nature of stressors reported by people with an intellectual disability. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 12, 1-10.

Cummins, R.A. (2002). Proxy responding for subjective well-being: A review.

International Review of Research in Mental Retardation, 25, 183-207.

Esbensen, A.J. (2004). Depression in individuals with mental retardation: An evaluation of cognitive theories. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

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The role of life events. British Journal of Psychiatry, 152, 683-686.

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(2001). The development of a stress survey schedule for persons with autism and other developmental disabilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 207-217.

12 Lifestress Informant 13

Hartley, S.L. & MacLean, W.E. (In press). Perceptions of stress and coping strategies among adults with mild mental retardation: Insight into psychological distress. American Journal on Mental Retardation.

Hastings, R.P., Hatton, C., Taylor, J.L., & Maddison, C. (2004). Life events and psychiatric symptoms in adults with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 48, 42 –46.





Hatton, C., & Emerson, E. (2004). The relationship between life events and psychopathology amongst children with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 17, 109-117.

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Assessment and relations to social support, cognition, and psychological distress.

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 13, 42-62.

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Lunsky, Y. (2003). Depressive symptoms in intellectual disability: Does gender play a role? Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 47, 417-427.

Lunsky, Y., & Benson, B.A. (1999). Social circles of adults with mental retardation as viewed by caregivers. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 11, 115-129.

Lunsky, Y., & Benson, B.A. (2001). The association between perceived social support and strain and positive and negative outcome for adults with mild intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 45, 106-114.

Lunsky, Y., & Neely, L. (2000, August). Interpersonal conflict in a relationships context. Paper presented at International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability World Congress. Seattle, W.A.

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Mazure, C.M. & Maciejewski, P. K. (2003). The interplay of stress, gender, and cognitive style in depressive onset. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 6(1), 5-8 Mindham, J., & Espie, C.A. (2003). Glasgow Anxiety Scale for people with an intellectual disability (DAS-ID): development and psychometric properties of a new measure for use with people with mild intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 47(1), 22-30.

Moss, S., Prosser, H., Costello, H., Simpson, N., Patel, P., Rowe, S., Turner, S., & Hatton, C. (1998). Reliability and validity of the PAS-ADD checklist for detecting psychiatric disorders in adults with intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 42, 173-183.

Nadarajah, J., Roy, A., Harris, T.O., & Corbett, J.A. (1995). Methodological aspects of life events research in people with learning disabilities: a review and initial findings. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 39, 47-56.

13 Lifestress Informant 14

O‟Leary, A. (1990). Stress, emotion and human immune function.

Psychological Bulletin, 108(3), 363-382.

Owen, D.M., Hastings, R.P., Noone, S.J., Chinn, J., Harman, K., Roberts, J., & Taylor, K. (2004). Life events as correlates of problem behavior and mental health in a residential population of adults with developmental disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 25, 309-320.

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Stack, L.S., Haldipur, C.V., & Thompson, M. (1987). Stressful life events and psychiatric hospitalisation of mentally retarded patients. American Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 661 – 663.

14 Lifestress Informant 15

Author Note This project was funded by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and a research grant from the Scottish Rite Foundation, awarded to the first author. No restrictions on access to or publication of data were imposed by these two granting agencies. The authors have no financial or non-financial conflicts of interest regarding this study.

–  –  –

1. Does s/he get to choose things that are important to him/her?

2. Does s/he get enough privacy and time to him or herself?

3. Has s/he heard people s/he knows arguing?

4. Do people treat him/her as though s/he is different?

5. Do people respect his/her rights?

6. Has someone s/he knows been seriously ill or died?

7. Has s/he been getting along with his/her partner/boyfriend/girlfriend?

8. Does s/he get along well with his/her family?

9. Do people listen to him/her when s/he has something to say?

10. Does s/he feel s/he can‟t do things properly or quick enough?

11. Can s/he understand other people‟s instructions or directions?

12. Can people understand him/her?

13. Does anybody bully or hurt him/her?

14. Do people interrupt him/her when s/he is busy?

15. Do people tease him/her or call him/her names?

16. Does s/he get on well with his/her supervisor or teacher?

17. Do people make him/her do things s/he doesn‟t really want to do?

18. Have s/he had any arguments or fights with anyone?

19. Can s/he do the things people want him/her to do?

20. Can s/he get enough help when s/he wants it or needs it?

21. Has s/he recently been in any really crowded places?

22. Has s/he ever been in a difficult situation where s/he didn‟t know what to do?

23. Do people around him/her let him/her know what‟s going on?

24. Will s/he always be able to have or find a job?

25. Does s/he feel confident handling money and counting change?

26. Does s/he like living where s/he lives at the moment?

27. Has s/he been in trouble lately?

28. Does s/he have enough friends?

29. Do people think s/he can‟t do things when s/he thinks s/he can?

30. Do people like talking to him/her?

–  –  –

17

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