Report from the Working Group on Improving Public Policies and Programs Affecting Persons with Mental Retardation and Other Developmental Disabilities. Report from the Working Group on Improving Public Policies and Programs Affecting Persons with Mental Retardation and Other Developmental Disabilities : Table 27

12/01/1988

: Table 27

Re:Relationship of size to behavior of residents/staff in community facilities (6-20 residents)
Title:Relationship of Size to Resident and Staff Behavior in Small Community Residences
Authors:Sharon Landesman-Dwyer, Gene P. Sackett, and Jody Stein Kleinman
Published:American Journal of Mental Deficiency
Date:1980 (Vol. 85, No. 1)
Method:419 staff members and residents of 43 group homes (of 6-20 residents) representing heterogenous groups and spanning various geographic locations, age, sex, and functional levels were sampled. Each subject was observed on one day during the week form early morning until late night; 15 categories of behavior being recorded; once every 15 minutes. Interobserver reliability for each category was 88% or higher.
Summary of Findings:Eating and organized activities decline slightly with increasing group home size; general social and unobservable behavior increased with home size. Residents spent 41% of their time being inactive as compared to 11% by the staff. Staff members spent more time periods interacting with visitors and other people than did residents. Resident spent one fourth of their observed time interacting with other residents. Greatest amount of peer interaction was seen in medium size homes (9-17 people) and least in small homes (6-8 people). “Best friend” relations were seen in large homes. Residents’ interactions with staff members did not vary as a function of home size but time spent in peer interaction did. Four activity categories that did not show a main effect of home size were: teaching, supervising, problem solving, and negative social behavior; which occurred less than .5% of the observed times. Multiple-regression analyses performed to determine whether certain characteristics of the home were associated with the observed differences in behavior indicated low intercorrelations between variables except the associations between group home size and the average age of residents. Larger homes (18-20 residents) primarily served adult residents.