Abstract

Day-to-day choices available to former institution residents with severe/profound developmental disabilities (movers) were assessed before and after deinstitutionalization and compared with peers who remained in the same institutions (stayers). Data were gathered annually for both groups for 3 years after baseline. Personal characteristics of the two groups did not differ significantly at baseline, except that stayers exhibited more challenging behavior. This was controlled by using baseline challenging behavior as a covariate in group comparisons. Overall, movers exercised significantly more choice, although groups did not differ at baseline. Effects of deinstitutionalization did not differ with level of disability. However, the absolute level of choice available to both movers and stayers was very low.

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