Effects of Leisure Education Using Different Leadership Styles on Adults With Mental Retardation


  • Danielle Yoder Lanagan
  • John Dattilo


Leisure Education, Democratic Leadership, Authoritarian Leadership, Choice, Mental Retardation, Single-subject Research


One way to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities is to  encourage their sense of control during participation in recreation activities. Control can be encouraged through systematic attempts at leisure education and the provision of choices during recreation participation. Thirty-nine adults with mental retardation participated in an investigation containing four experimental phases: (a) baseline-recreation participation activities, (b)treatment-all participants received the same leisure education program, half with an authoritarian leadership style, halfwith a democratic, (c) return to baseline, and (d) return to the original treatment. This investigation was initiated to determine if activity involvement would be higher during the leisure education phases and in the democratic group. Sessions lasted 30 minutes each day for eight weeks and were videotaped for observation and data recording. An analysis of variance for repeated measures was administered to analyze within-group (leisure education) and between-group (leadership style) differences. There appeared to be limited differences between leadership styles; however, a significant difference between recreation participation and leisure education was demonstrated. Subjects' activity involvement significantly increased from the first phase to the second, remained at the higher level throughout the third, and increased slightly during the fourth phase.





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