Social workers' intervention preferences in cases of parental violence toward intellectually disabled children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children with intellectual disabilities are at risk of being abused by family members. This study sought to identify factors influencing the intervention decisions of social workers. Fifty-nine social workers employed at welfare services participated in the study. The study used a factorial survey design describing a violent interaction between a child with intellectual disability and a parent. Professional characteristics of the workers as well as personal attitudinal characteristics had no significant effect on the preference of intervention mode. However, levels of child and parental aggression presented in the vignettes did influence the preferred intervention. Child's challenging behavior plays an important and increasing role in preferences for more intrusive and authoritative interventions, even after controlling for parental aggression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-455
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Issue number4
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was authorized by the ethical research committee of the University of Haifa and by the Department for the Treatment of the Mentally Retarded in the Ministry of Welfare. Data collection was carried out by phone calls to the agencies and a conversation with each worker regarding ID, explaining the goal of the study, and requesting consent to participate.


  • Challenging behavior
  • Family violence
  • Intellectual disability
  • Intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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