Challenging behavior and related factors in people with intellectual disability living in residential care centers in Israel

Amanda Sinai, Ariel Tenenbaum, Shoshana Aspler, Meir Lotan, Mohammed Morad, Joav Merrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Adults with intellectual disabilities have higher rates of mental ill-health and problem behaviors than the general population. Method: In this study, we present data on trends in challenging behavior in residential care centers in Israel from 1998 to 2008 and further data on trends in employment of psychiatrists from 1998 to 2009 and psychotropic medication use from 1998 to 2008. Data was collected from annual questionnaires sent out to all residential care centers in Israel, from the Office of the Medical Director, Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. Results: Rates of challenging behaviors in people with intellectual disabilities living in residential care centers in Israel continues to rise. Alongside this, trends in regular psychotropic medication use also continues to increase. Conclusion: Consideration of biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors in the assessment and management of people with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviors is important. This is best conducted using a multidisciplinary approach, which may include psychiatric assessment. Non-pharmacological interventions should always be considered either alongside, or instead of medication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - 21 May 2013


  • Challenging behavior
  • Intellectual disability
  • Israel
  • Mental health
  • Psychotropic medication
  • Residential care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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