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Training choice-making behaviours of adults with intellectual disabilities


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Morgan, Michaela J.(Michaela Jane) 2001 , 'Training choice-making behaviours of adults with intellectual disabilities', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Full text restricted
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


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

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Morgan, Michaela J.(Michaela Jane)
Keywords: People with mental disabilities, People with mental disabilities
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

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).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2001. Includes bibliographical references

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