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Mental health problems in adults with Down syndrome and their association with life circumstances


Mallardo, M and Cuskelly, M and White, P and Jobling, A, Mental health problems in adults with Down syndrome and their association with life circumstances, Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 7, (3) pp. 229-245. ISSN 1931-5864 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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© Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

DOI: doi:10.1080/19315864.2013.842622


This study focused on current life circumstances, previous life events, and engagement with productive and enjoyable activities. It examined the association of these variables with mental health problems and mood in a cohort of young adults with Down syndrome. Participants were 49 adults with Down syndrome (age range 20–31 years) and their parents/carers. Adults with Down syndrome completed standardized language assessments, were screened for possible mental health disorders by a psychologist using the Mini Psychiatric Assessment Schedule for Adults with a Developmental Disability, and/or were seen by a psychiatrist with expertise in dual diagnosis. Parents/carers completed measures of adaptive behavior, life events, mood, participation in activities, and psychosocial engagement with these activities. Fifteen participants (30.6%) received a psychiatric diagnosis of a mental health disorder, of which 7 were diagnosed with Depression (14.3% of the sample). Analysis of differences between 3 groups—those without a diagnosis, those with a diagnosis of Depression, and those with a mental health disorder that was not Depression—identified few differences. Although groups did not differ on the participation measure, there was a significant difference between those with no diagnosis and those with a diagnosis of Depression with respect to psychological engagement. Depressed adults were less engaged in their daily activities.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Down syndrome, mental health, affect, engagement, life events, lifestyle
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Psychology of ageing
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Ability and disability
UTAS Author:Cuskelly, M (Professor Monica Cuskelly)
ID Code:113502
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2017-01-05
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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