Abstract

A descriptive analysis was conducted of data from survey instruments completed by 25 trained volunteers serving for more than one year as companions to people with mental retardation. Factors such as a strong orientation process, adequate support from staff, appropriate matching with the people with mental retardation, positive characteristics of the people with disabilities, and a high perceived degree of reciprocity were characteristic of these stable relationships. Volunteers and their partners participated in a variety of recreational activities together. Although they encountered various logistical barriers to the relationships, respondents reported that these barriers did not impede the relationships.

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