UCL Centre for Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Research


Key Strands of our Research

  • Development and evaluation of psychological therapies for behaviour problems, mental health issues or difficulties at a family/wider system level
  • Evaluation of health service provision for individuals with intellectual disabilities
  • Ageing: health issues associated with ageing in persons with intellectual disabilities
  • Stigma: Promotion of well-being and evidence based approaches to reducing the stigma associated with intellectual disability in the context of a multicultural society

The following are some of the current key research projects undertaken by CIDDR. Details of all student projects can be found on the CIDDR team page.

London Down Syndrome Consortium (LonDowns)  

London Down Syndrome Consortium (LonDowns)  

The Consortium is a large multidisciplinary team made up of clinicians, geneticists, developmental psychologists, mouse geneticists, psychiatrists and cellular scientists.

Lead: Dr Andre Strydom

Positive Behaviour Support Trial 

The Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)  study is a clinical RCT of Positive Behaviour Support.

Lead: Prof Angela Hassiotis

Stigma associated with intellectual disability

We are currently carrying out several studies related to stigma:

1.  Lay responses to people with intellectual disabilities and efforts to tackle stigma associated with intellectual disability in the context of ethnically and religiously diverse societies

Lay people often find the concept of intellectual disability and the different terminologies used confusing. Where lay people show negative emotional responses, hold stigmatising beliefs and attitudes this can have a very negative effect on the lives of persons with intellectual disabilities and their families and carers. We are completing several studies to understand more about lay responses in different cultural and religious communities. We are also currently piloting a range of interventions aimed at reducing negative attitudes and stigmatising beliefs among children and adults in the general population.

Lead: Dr Katrina Scior

Recent related publications:

Scior,K., Kan,K-Y., McLoughlin,A., & Sheridan, J.C. (2010). Public attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities: a cross-cultural study. Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, 48, 278 – 289.

Scior,K. & Furnham,A. (2011). Development and validation of the Intellectual Disability Literacy Scale for assessment of knowledge, beliefs and attitudes to intellectual disability. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32, 1530-1541.

Scior,K. (2011). Public awareness, attitudes and beliefs regarding intellectual disability: a systematic review. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32, 2164-2182.

Coles,S. & Scior,K. (2012). Public attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities: a qualitative comparison of white British & South Asian people. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 25, 177-188.

Scior,K., Potts, H.W. & Furnham, A.F. (2013). Awareness of schizophrenia and intellectual disability and stigma across ethnic groups in the UK. Psychiatry Research, 208, 125-130.

Scior, K., Addai-Davies, J., Kenyon, M. & Sheridan, J.C. (2013). Stigma, public awareness about intellectual disability and attitudes to inclusion among different ethnic groups. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 57, 1014-1026.

Sheridan,J.C. & Scior,K. (2013). Attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities: a comparison of young people from British South Asian and White British backgrounds. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 1240-1247.

Walker,J. & Scior,K. (2013). Tackling stigma associated with intellectual disability among the general public: A study of two indirect contact interventions. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 2200–2210.

Connolly,T, Williams,J. & Scior,K. (2013). The effects of symptom recognition and diagnostic labels on public beliefs, emotional reactions and stigma associated with intellectual disability. American Journal Intellectual Developmental Disabilities, 13, 211-223.

Scior,K., Hamid, A., Mahfoudi, A., Abdallah, F. (2013). The relationship between awareness of intellectual disability, causal and intervention beliefs and stigma in Kuwait and the UK. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 3896-3905.

Wilson,M. & Scior, K. (2014). Implicit attitudes towards individuals with disabilities as measured by the Implicit Association Test: A Literature Review. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35, 294-321.

Ryan, T. & Scior, K. (2014). Medical students' attitudes to health care provision for people with intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35, 2316–2328.

Seewooruttun, L. & Scior, K. (2014). Interventions aimed at raising awareness and improving attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities among lay people: A Review. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35, 3482-3495.

2.  The impact of perceived stigma on quality of life, psychological distress, treatment adherence and service use in people with intellectual disabilities

Lead: Dr Afia Ali


Ali, A., Kock, E., Molteno, C., Mfiki, N., King, M., & Strydom, A. (2014). Ethnicity and self-reported experiences of stigma in adults with intellectual disability in Cape Town, South Africa. J Intellect Disabil Res. doi:10.1111/jir.12158

Ali, A., Scior, K., Ratti, V., Strydom, A., King, M. & Hassiotis, A. (2013). Discrimination and other barriers to accessing health care: perspectives of patients with intellectual disability and their carers. PLoS ONE 8(8): e70855.

Ali, A., Hassiotis, A., Strydom, A., & King, M. (2012). Self stigma in people with intellectual disabilities and courtesy stigma in family carers: A systematic review. Res Dev Disabil, 33 (6), 2122-2140. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2012.06.013

Ali, A. K., Strydom, A., Hassiotis, A., & King, M. (2008). A measure of the perceived stigma of intellectual disability. British Journal of Psychiatry, 193, 410-415.

3. International Scoping Review of Efforts to Raise Awareness and  Combat Prejudice and Discrimination directed at people with ID

This scoping review aims to collect both empirical and anecdotal evidence from around the globe relating to responses to people with intellectual disabilities at community/societal level. The project engages with researchers, statutory and 3rd sector organisations, self-advocates, family members of people with intellectual disabilities, and campaigning bodies around the world.Our central aim is to identify what is happening to raise awareness and combat prejudices and discrimination, in line with Articles 5 and 8 of the UN convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). 

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 The results of the review and good practice examples aimed at raising awareness of

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intellectual disability, combating prejudices and discrimination will be presented at a free public event on Thursday 16 July 2015. See here for more information about the event.

Lead: Dr Katrina Scior
Project Team:
Maria Kett, Leonard Cheshire Disability & Inclusive Development Center
Richard Hastings, Cerebra Chair of Family Research, University of Warwick

Andre Strydom, Division of Psychiatry, UCL

Shirli Werner, Paul Baerwald School of Social Work & Social Welfare, The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel

Kenneth Poon Kin Loong, Institute of Education, University of Singapore