DIFFERENCES IN ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR OF INSTITUTIONALIZED AND DEINSTITUTIONALIZED MENTALLY RETARDED ADULTS
This investigation was a two year study of deinstitutionalization of mentally retarded adults utilizing one institutional model (control group) and one community-based model (experimental group). The subjects were compared in terms of differences in adaptive behavior. Both the institutional model and the community-based model were representative of community-based and institutional approaches used in Arkansas.^ The initial pool of subjects were the the 230 persons residing at the Arkansas Children's Colony at Booneville on July 1, 1980. Fifty-eight residents were randomly chosen as a control group and remained in the institution in their current program; fifty-eight were randomly chosen as an experimental group and moved into community-based residential and vocational services provided by Bost Human Development Services. Complete data were collected for 56 subjects in each of the groups.^ The instruments used were: (a) Becoming Independent; (b) Street Survival Skills Questionnaire (SSSQ); and (c) Stanford-Binet, Form L-M.^ The statistical procedures employed were: (a) Cronbach's Alpha; (b) item-total correlations; (c) inter-item correlation; (d) factor analysis; (e) t-tests; (f) analysis of covariance; (g) one-by-one partial correlations; and (h) discriminant function analysis.^ The following conclusions were drawn: (1) At posttest, members of the experimental group were superior to the control group in overall SSSQ adaptive behavior, and in each subscale of SSSQ adaptive functioning. (2) While no significant pretest differences existed between the control and experimental subjects, significant differences existed between the control and experimental groups for each skill (subtest) of the adaptive behavior scale SSSQ at the end of the two year study. This was true whether a unidimensional or multidimensional assumption of adaptive behavior was made. (3) IQ/level of mental retardation, age, sex, and years institutionalized before the groups were separated were not significantly different at pretest or posttest and these variables did not account for adaptive behavior differences between the groups.^ The principal recommendations of this study were: (1) This study should be replicated in another locale to determine if the results can be corroborated. (2) Future studies should look at other variables that might also play a role in adaptive behavior change. (3) Deinstitutionalization should be recommended for persons whose only disability is mental retardation. ^
Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
DANIEL BERNARD ROSEN,
"DIFFERENCES IN ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR OF INSTITUTIONALIZED AND DEINSTITUTIONALIZED MENTALLY RETARDED ADULTS"
(January 1, 1985).
ETD Collection for Fordham University.