University of Tasmania
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Training choice-making behaviours of adults with intellectual disabilities

posted on 2023-05-26, 19:10 authored by Morgan, MJ
This thesis examines the daily choice-making behaviours of adults with intellectual disabilities in order to develop a training program for improving these behaviours following the three-stage model of choice developed by Zilber, Rawlings and Shaddock (1994). It begins with the development of the Daily Choice Questionnaire (DCQ), which quantifies choice behaviours in each of the three stages: Option Recognition, Evaluation and Selection, and Acting on the Selection. This instrument was used to assess the impact of resident, environmental, and support worker characteristics on the expression of the choice behaviours of 43 adults with intellectual disabilities living in 11 group homes. This analysis indicated that resident characteristics, particularly measures of ability, most influenced choice behaviours. The DCQ was then used to evaluate a number of approaches for training choice-making. These involved intervention with either the resident (skills training), the support worker (opportunity training), or both. Involving the same participants as the previous study, the combined approach proved to be the most effective, both in increasing the frequency of opportunities and follow-through of choices. Although there were few other effects on choice behaviours, some of the negative effects of using opportunity or skills training in isolation were apparently prevented by the combined use of both forms of training. In the last two studies, 79 residential support workers rated 59 group home residents on their availability of choice in 16 daily choice areas. These ratings were used to develop a model of choice availability that describes the relationships between resident disability, support worker attitudes to the choice skills of residents, and choice availability. One of the key implications of this model is that choice availability is a consequence of both general resident ability, and support worker perceptions of the development and teachability of choice skills. This finding reinforces the need to train both the resident and the support worker in order to influence the availability of choice. Resident choice availability ratings were then compared to similar ratings for 198 individuals without an intellectual disability. These individuals ranged in age between four months and 56 years, and lived in family homes of between three and five people. Equations were developed to predict the age-equivalent choice availability as a function of the level of disability. These can be used to set goals for increased choice availability consistent with normalisation. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings for further refinement of a combined opportunity and skills training approach to improve the choice behaviours of adults with an intellectual disability.


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Copyright 2001 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2001. Includes bibliographical references

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