Weight management for people with learning disabilities: direct care staff understanding and helping behaviours

PhD Thesis

Bird, L. 2015. Weight management for people with learning disabilities: direct care staff understanding and helping behaviours. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
AuthorsBird, L.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol

This study explored the application of Weiner’s attribution models of helping behaviour to care staff working with overweight people with learning disabilities.
Staff were asked to have a client in mind who was significantly overweight and to complete self-reports of their attributions, affect, optimism and willingness to help the person with their weight.
The study found that staff rated their clients’ weight as being attributed slightly more to internal factors than external factors, being low in controllability and high in stability. Staff reported low levels of positive and negative emotion but high levels of sympathy, optimism and willingness to help. No associations were found between attributions or affect and willingness to help. Only optimism was associated with willingness to help. The findings did not support the applicability of Weiner’s attribution models to staff supporting overweight people with learning disabilities. These findings contribute to the inconsistent literature on the applicability of Weiner’s model to staff helping in LD services.
Future research should clarify whether willingness to help relates to effective health helping strategies and to explore this further in service contexts.
The clinical implications for staff training include enhancing staff’s optimism in health change and providing skills in constructively engaging client’s in healthier behaviours.

Keywordscaregivers, weight management, intellectual disability, learning disabilities, staff, attributions, helping
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Publication process dates
Deposited21 Oct 2015
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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