Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Edward R Skarnulis

Second Advisor

Sharon Patten

Third Advisor

Amy Hewitt


A generation ago, care provided by a, institution was the primary model for providing services to persons with mental retardation. Today, most persons with developmental and other disabilities receive services within the context of typical community housing, work places, and schools. By June 1995, 92% of the 84,532 residential settings for people with mental retardation/developmental disabilities in the United States had six or fewer residents (Prouty and Lakin, 1996). As the number of community settings increase, there is a corresponding demand to train workers to provide direct care to people with mental retardation in community settings. Competent and comprehensive training is especially necessary when dealing with people with mental retardation who also display challenging behaviors (Anderson, Russo, Dunlap, and Albin, 1996; McGee and Pearson, 1983; Watson, 1983). The author has designed a training program based on the ecological perspective. The training module explores the issue of staff roles in influencing challenging behaviors and assesses an alternative approach.


SC 11.MSW.1998.O'Brien.JJ

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