Over a 3-year period, we examined whether the autonomy of 58 adults living in residences for people with developmental disabilities was associated with their adaptive behavior and community integration. Degree of resident autonomy included measures of opportunities for choice-making and level of involvement in policymaking. All of the participants lived in nursing homes at baseline and in residential settings for people with developmental disabilities at follow-up. Results indicated that opportunities for autonomy in residential settings were related to residents' adaptive behavior and community integration. More opportunities for choice-making in residences was associated with greater adaptive behavior, whereas smaller residence size and more resident involvement in decision-making were associated with greater community integration.
Preparation of this article was supported in part by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging With Mental Retardation, University of Illinois at Chicago, through the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Grant No. H133B30069. The opinions contained in this paper are those of the grantee and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Education.