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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Beyond Physical Inclusion: Teaching Skills in the Community to Enhance Social Inclusion
by Hall, Carmen L., Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2017, 217; 10287778
Abstract (Summary)

Along with the deinstitutionalization movement, supports for persons with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) have shifted to promotion of person-centered supports inclusive in the community. Although successes have occurred regarding physical inclusion, skill building and social inclusion have not fared as well for those with more significant disabilities. This study evaluated a 5-week intensive, behavioral, specialized training and skill-building program for transition-age youth and emerging adults with more significant intellectual disabilities in a community college setting that utilized Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) strategies. Eighteen persons with significant IDs participated in the study in a mixed methodology research design. Through voluntary sampling, eight participants received the intervention first, in Group 1, and ten participants received the intervention second, in Group 2, through a quantitative switching replications design. Results were analyzed with a sequential explanatory approach for mixed methodology research. The results demonstrated a statistically significant increase when participants were in the intervention group, as compared to acting as the control group, on the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Program Plan (VB-MAPP), which measures social and communication skills. A similar pattern was trending towards significance on the Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS). No statistically significant difference occurred on the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System (ABAS-3). Subscales on the San Martin Scale (SMS) for Quality of Life demonstrated statistically significant interaction effects for five of six subscales, when individuals were in the intervention group, but the treatment gains did not maintain after the intervention ended. The multiple-probe across-behaviors design demonstrated that participants were able to gain one to three skills while in the intervention, but, again, little carry-over effect was found on skills in baseline until the skill teaching was implemented. Further analysis demonstrated high satisfaction on the part of caregivers. Qualitative focus groups demonstrated a significant dichotomy between Theme 1, Fitting into a System, which did not meet individual needs, and Theme 3, Learning is Meaningful, which described successes and skill increases from the intervention as seen by caregivers. Results provided evidence that a short-term behavioral intervention can be effective in increasing skills, demonstrating satisfaction, and improving quality of life, combining a focus on behavior with one deriving from the disability rights movement.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Settlage, Bonnie
Commitee: MacDonald, Douglas, Schirmer, Todd
School: Saybrook University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Adult education, Special education
Keywords: Adults, Applied behavior analysis, College education, Intellectual disability, Skill teaching
Publication Number: 10287778
ISBN: 978-0-355-09158-8
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