Final Attributions Questionnaire





Causal attributions, emotions and helping behaviour of family carers of people with an acquired brain injury (including a head injury) and challenging behaviour.



Ms Grace Major, Trainee Forensic Clinical Psychologist, University of Birmingham

Dr Theresa Powell, Clinical Psychologist, University of Birmingham

Prof Nick Alderman, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Partnerships in Care


We would like to invite you to take part in a research study. Before you decide whether you want to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully. Our contact information is included on the third page.



What is the purpose of the study?

This research is a student research project being run by Grace Major and Dr Powell as part of the Forensic Clinical Psychology Doctorate at the University of Birmingham. This study aims to learn more about how carers of family members/partners with an acquired brain injury (including head injury) react to challenging behaviour and about their helping behaviour. We are interested in family carers in particular because little is known about responses to challenging behaviour within the home environment. It is important for us to understand more about carers’ responses to challenging behaviour so that we can find ways to support them and the person they are caring for.


Why have I been invited to take part?

You are being invited to take part if:

  • You are aged 18 or over
  • You are a family carer (a partner or member of the same family) living with a person with an acquired brain injury (brain damage caused by any event after birth, including a head injury)
  • You are the main source of support or jointly support the person with the brain injury
  • Before the injury, the person was free from any disability or other condition that required you to provide care and support
  • If the person you are caring for displayed one or more of the following behaviours in the last four weeks:

a) Verbal aggression (such as shouting, insulting or threatening)

b) Inappropriate social behaviour (such as being over-familiar with people, inappropriate emotional expression, lack of consideration for others, breaking social rules, not complying with reasonable requests or participating in criminal behaviour)

c) Lack of initiation i.e. not starting or completing tasks without being prompted (such as not getting out of bed, not engaging in conversation or not engaging in typical daily activities or not washing without being prompted).

d) Physical aggression towards people (such as spitting, striking or injuring).

e) Physical aggression towards objects (such as slamming doors, throwing or breaking objects).


If you do not meet these requirements then unfortunately we cannot include you in this study but thank you for your time.


Do I have to take part?

Your participation in this study is completely voluntary and you do not have to take part if you do not want to. It is up to you to decide whether or not you want to take part. If you do, you will be asked to consent to take part by completing the tick boxes on the consent form. You can print the information sheet if you would like to think about it further or to keep for your records.


What will happen to me if I take part?

If you decide to take part you will be asked to complete an online survey. This should not take any longer than 10-15 minutes to complete.

The online survey will require you to:

  • Answer general questions about yourself, such as your age, ethnicity and employment status
  • Answer general questions about the person you care for who has a brain injury
  • Answer questions about your reactions to challenging behaviour
  • Answer questions about your feelings
  • Answer questions about the support and help you provide


What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

During participation in this study, you are unlikely to experience great discomfort, although you may find some questions of a sensitive nature. At the end of the study you will be provided with contact information for support services that you can access if you have been affected by any of the questions asked.


What are the possible benefits from taking part?

You will not receive any personal benefit from taking part in this study. However, your participation may provide useful information about how we can help carers in the future.


What happens when the research study stops?

We will be happy to provide you with a report of the study findings, when this becomes available. If you would like to receive a summary of the findings of the study once it is completed, please e-mail Grace Major at or Theresa Powell at with your request.


Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?

The procedure for handling, processing, storing and destroying your data during this study is compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998. Please be sure not to identify yourself or the person you care for in order to maintain anonymity in any of the questions where you are asked to provide written information.


All information that is collected is anonymous and does not contain personally identifiable information. All data collected is strictly confidential. Your information will be kept securely on the University of Birmingham server and will be coded with a participant number.


Your information will be used for this study only. Your anonymous information will be kept for 10 years before being destroyed in accordance with guidelines from the American Psychological Association and the University of Birmingham.


What will happen if I don’t want to carry on with the study?

You do not have to take part in the research. If you start answering the questionnaires but change your mind, you do not have to continue. You do not have to give a reason why you do not wish to participate. Once you have given us your answers to the questionnaires however, it will not be possible to change your mind as your data will not be personally identifiable so we cannot delete it.


What will happen to the results of the study?

The results of the research will be written up by Grace Major as part of a thesis. This is required as part of the Forensic Clinical Psychology Doctorate at the University of Birmingham. The findings may also be published in a scientific journal. You will not be identified in any report or publication.


What if I have any concerns?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should email the researchers who will do their best to answer your questions.


Contact Details

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this research please contact:



Post:   Grace Major, School of Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT.



Post:   Dr Theresa Powell, School of Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT.




There are 46 questions in this survey.
  A note on privacy
This survey is anonymous.
The record kept of your survey responses does not contain any identifying information about you unless a specific question in the survey has asked for this. If you have responded to a survey that used an identifying token to allow you to access the survey, you can rest assured that the identifying token is not kept with your responses. It is managed in a separate database, and will only be updated to indicate that you have (or haven't) completed this survey. There is no way of matching identification tokens with survey responses in this survey.