Choice Availability and Persons with Mental Retardation: A Longitudinal and Regression Analysis

Authors: Kearney, C.A.; Bergan, K.P.; McKnight, T.J.

Source: Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, Volume 10, Number 3, September 1998 , pp. 291-305(15)

Publisher: Springer

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Service delivery systems for persons with disabilities have undergone vital changes recently, and issues of quality of life and choice availability remain at the forefront of concern. Preliminary research indicates that choice availability varies across living environments and is related to adaptive and maladaptive behavior in persons with disabilities. The present study sought to replicate and extend previous work in this area by examining, over a 15-month period, 67 persons with severe or profound mental retardation, some of whom were relocated to other living facilities. Regression analyses with 122 participants were also conducted to identify which aspects of choice availability are best predictive of adaptive and maladaptive behavior. Marked changes in choice availability and behavior characterized only those persons relocated during the study. In addition, choice availability was found to be strongly related to adaptive but not maladaptive behavior. Results are discussed with recommendations for direct-care staff and researchers.

Keywords: choice availability; persons with mental retardation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-5030

Publication date: September 1, 1998

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