Counter-Habilitative Contingencies in Residential Institutions

  • Patricia M. Meinhold
  • James A. Mulick
Part of the Disorders of Human Learning, Behavior, and Communication book series (HUMAN LEARNING)


Full-time institutional settings for mentally retarded people are intended to provide treatment and habilitative services while ensuring a high quality of life for their residents. Although the concept of “quality of life” is an elusive one, it is generally agreed that it includes an acceptable level of physical safety and health protection, access to satisfying social relationships, and opportunities for leisure and privacy. Independence, self-determination, and personal autonomy are recognized as central to the quality of the lives of all people, and these values have special relevance to the lives of people with mental retardation and people living in institutions. Over the past 25 years, there has been a growing concern that residential institutions, by their very nature, tend to inhibit the development of independence and autonomy in their residents (Biklen & Knoll, 1987). The move toward deinstitutionalization and community-based services has solved this problem for some institutionalized mentally retarded people, but many remain in institutions for reasons including government negligence in developing sufficient community services and placements and individual characteristics such as medical disabilities requiring intensive nursing care. The problems presented by institutional settings continue to confront planners, administrators, and advocates, and these facilities continue to influence the lives of many people.


Maladaptive Behavior Apply Behavior Analysis Adaptive Skill Social Ecology Mental Deficiency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia M. Meinhold
  • James A. Mulick

There are no affiliations available

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