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The lifestyle behaviours of young adults with intellectual disabilities transitioning from school to adulthood : a feasibility study

Mitchell, Fiona and Stevens, Gemma and Jahoda, Andrew and Matthews, Lynsay and Hankey, Catherine and Murray, Heather and Melville, Craig (2018) The lifestyle behaviours of young adults with intellectual disabilities transitioning from school to adulthood : a feasibility study. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 31 (6). pp. 1154-1163. ISSN 1360-2322

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    Background: In the general population, the transition from adolescence to adulthood has been identified as a ‘high-risk’ period for weight gain. There has been no research examining health behaviours over this transition in adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). Methods/design: The feasibility of recruitment, retention and relevant health behaviours were measured in 31 adolescents with mild-moderate ID. Anthropometric, objective physical activity, dietary and self-determination measures were collected over a 12-month transitional period from school to adulthood. Results: Key results suggest weight and BMI increased significantly from month 6 to month 12 (p=0.044 and p=0.043). Waist circumference increased significantly from baseline to month 12 (p=0.049), and from month 6 to month 12 (p=0.03). Discussion: Recruiting and retaining young adults with ID over a 12 month health behaviour study is feasible. The data indicates the transition from school to adulthood may be the start of a high- risk period for weight gain.