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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Barry Perlmutter

First Committee Member

R. C. Katz

Second Committee Member

Mari G. Irwin

Third Committee Member

David [?]

Fourth Committee Member

E[?] C{?]


Training in independent and age-appropriate leisure activities is part of a comprehensive program of active treatment for developmentally disabled adults. Increased leisure skills have been shown to reduce a variety of problem behaviors, enhance a variety of useful skills, and allow the developmentally disabled to assimilate into more normalized settings. However, the developmentally disabled individual's engagement in leisure activities is often restricted due to such things as their own skill deficits, as well as limited availability of materials.

This study investigated the effects of two training methods on the leisure behavior of 16 institutionalized severely and profoundly developmentally disabled adults. It was demonstrated that teaching subjects, not only how to use leisure materials, but to self-initiate leisure activity, resulted in significantly more frequent and sustained independent leisure activity than teaching subjects only how to use leisure materials.

Data on subjects' videotaped leisure behaviors were collected during Baseline, six days of sessions over two weeks, where subjects were exposed to, but not prompted to use, six different leisure activities. Overall ranks during Baseline were used to assign subjects to two equal treatment groups. Target subjects were taught to self-initiate leisure with a complete task analysis of the activities. The complete task analysis included the entire functional routine of taking out, using (curriculum skills), and putting away materials. Curriculum Instruction subjects were trained only in the use of the materials. The model for training both groups was based on the Behavior Skills Rating Scale.

Training sessions were held on 27 days over six weeks. This was followed by six days of Post-training Observation with conditions identical to Baseline. The significance of the difference between groups' subjects' Post-training rankings were determined using the Mann-Whitney U. All analyses utilized two-tailed tests, with significance set at p (greater then) .05. Overall, Target group subjects ranked significantly higher than CI subjects during Post-training Observation. In addition, they ranked significantly higher in the number of sessions with initiated activity; latency before initiating activity; and sustained leisure activity. There was no significant difference in the supplemental skills of taking out and putting away materials.



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