243456 Health professionals serving individuals with developmental disabilities: Association between leadership behaviors and practice

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jacqueline Stone, PhD, PT , Administration, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD
Harolyn Belcher, MD , Kennedy Krieger Family Center/Johns Hopkins Department of Pediatrics, Kennedy Krieger Insitute, Baltimore, MD
Healthy People 2020 highlights the promotion of health and well-being of all people including those with disabilities. The current study measured the association between transformational leadership behaviors and health promotion practices for Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) network professionals serving individuals with developmental disabilities. Transformational leadership is characterized by influential behaviors and attributes, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration, (Bass and Avolio, 2004). Using a web-based survey design to collect data, multivariate analysis was performed on the variables. Respondents included 222 professionals with a mean age of 47.9 years (e.g., nutritionists, occupational and physical therapists, speech pathologists, social workers, physicians/nurse practitioners, and nurses) from across the United States. Transformational leadership behaviors of AUCD professionals were associated with health promotion practices for cardiovascular fitness (p=.003). Transformational leadership behaviors presented a trend association with practices that promoted healthy weight (p=.07). In conclusion, the more transformational leadership attributes a clinician possessed, the greater their health promotion practice scores. The results of this study suggest that training of professionals treating individuals with disabilities should emphasize building characteristics congruent with transformational leadership. While Healthy People 2020 supports social and physical factors as determinants that influence the health of people with disabilities, leadership behaviors may prove to be a determinant of health that is not only associated with health promotion practices of specialty professionals but also contributes to the health status for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1.Participants will describe transformational leadership behaviors. 2.Participants will identify how transformational leadership skills can influence health practices of individuals with disabilities. 3.Participants will discuss leadership is a determinant of health practice.

Keywords: Leadership, Practice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This was my dissertation research in organizational leadership and health and human services. I have held substantive clinical and leadership roles at Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, all focused on improving access and quality outcomes for persons with developmental disabilities. Using leadership constructs I have fostered and taught leadership skills to health professionals and students for over 30 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.