Challenging Behavior in Down Syndrome: Initial Surveys Evaluating Co-occurrence


  • Layana Sariah Drake University
  • Jemma Williams Drake University
  • Raelynn Moquin Drake University
  • Marisela Aguilar Drake University
  • Maria Valdovinos Drake University



Down syndrome, Trisomy 21, Functional assessment, challenging behavior, caregivers


Down syndrome (DS) is a developmental disability caused by trisomy of chromosome 21 and as with other developmental disabilities, individuals with DS may present with challenging behavior (e.g., aggression, tantrums, self-injurious behavior; Feeley & Jones, 2006). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the presence of challenging behavior in those with DS by surveying caregivers of individuals with DS via Qualtrics. A link to our survey was sent out to national and local organizations that support the DS population with a request to disseminate the link. Given limited response, the survey was modified (shorted and reorganized) and a link to the revised survey was disseminated via Facebook to groups focused on DS. Although both surveys received limited responses, there are preliminary findings worth exploring further. Aggression, noncompliance, and tantrum behaviors were frequently reported behavior and, escape and attention were the most reported perceived functions of behavior. Challenging behavior is reported in DS by caregivers. Future research should be conducted to examine the prevalence and function of challenging behavior in DS to develop effective preventative approaches to challenging behavior while promoting skill acquisition.


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How to Cite

Sariah, L., Williams, J., Moquin, R., Aguilar, M., & Valdovinos, M. (2023). Challenging Behavior in Down Syndrome: Initial Surveys Evaluating Co-occurrence. Journal of Student Research, 12(2).



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