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    Sticky categories and their negative consequences: people with learning disabilities and ‘behaviours that challenge others’

    Mikulak, Magdalena ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1519-7673, Ryan, Sara ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7406-1610, Tilley, Elizabeth ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4665-394X, Ledger, Susan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5927-6963, Davidson, Lisa, Bebbigton, Pam and Wiltshire, Dawn (2024) Sticky categories and their negative consequences: people with learning disabilities and ‘behaviours that challenge others’. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 26 (1). pp. 110-123. ISSN 1745-3011

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    Abstract

    ‘Behaviours that challenge others’ are attributed to 20% of people with learning disabilities. These behaviours are not a diagnosis, it is something people are labelled with. We conducted qualitative interviews with social care staff in the UK within four models of care: independent supported living, residential nursing home, Shared Lives, and living with family and attending a day opportunities centre. We examine how the category of ‘behaviours that challenge others’ is produced, applied, and contested in adult social care settings. We demonstrate its stickiness and discuss its stigmatising consequences. How behaviours are understood, felt, and talked about matters for the support people with learning disabilities receive and maps onto their consequent inclusion or exclusion from society. We point out the harms the category carries for people who receive it and argue that it should be abandoned.

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