A descriptive assessment of environmental variables influencing patterns of staff communication with people living in three community-based residential facilities supporting persons with disabilities was presented. Each of the 16 participating staff persons was observed for 2 hours, and all resident-directed communication behaviors were coded according to staff person, activity context, and resident. Statistical analyses were performed examining frequencies of interaction across these variables. Frequencies of communication were found to differ across activities and residents (communicative partners), but not staff persons or homes. Directions for future research and clinical implications are given, including the development of a model of staff performance and the creation of self-reinforcing social communities in residential settings for persons with disabilities.

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