This thesis is concerned with staff carers of individuals with a learning disability and a diagnosis of schizophrenia. To date this group of carers have received no attention from researchers. This is in contrast to a vast body of literature, which has established the psychological impact of care giving on the relatives of patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, without a learning disability. The term ‘schizophrenia’ has been used throughout this thesis. This reflects the use of psychiatric diagnoses in the body research and clinical literature, which has guided the development of the current study.\ud \ud The first paper critically reviews the application of attribution theory to the study of relatives’ coping responses to schizophrenia and the associated symptomatology. The literature review has been prepared for submission to Schizophrenia Bulletin (see Appendix B for Instructions to Authors).\ud \ud The brief research paper reports on the development of the Attributions for Schizophrenia Questionnaire (ASchizQ) and a preliminary investigation with staff carers of individuals with a mild learning disability and a diagnosis of schizophrenia. This paper has been prepared for submission to the Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities (see Appendix C for Instructions to Authors).\ud \ud The main research paper focuses on the application of attribution theory to staff caring for individuals with a mild learning disability and diagnosis of schizophrenia. It examines the relationship between staff carers’ causal attributions about schizophrenia and the associated symptomatology and their current coping styles. This paper has been prepared for submission to the British Journal of Clinical Psychology (see Appendix D for Instructions to Authors).\ud \ud Finally, the research review describes some of my experiences and observations of conducting research with carers of individuals with a mild learning disability and a diagnosis schizophrenia
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