The Use of Self-Control Techniques to Facilitate Self-Determination Skills During Leisure in Adolescents and Young Adults with Mild and Moderate Mental Retardation


  • Michael J. Mahon


Selfdetermination, decision-making in leisure, selfinstruction, self-monitoring, leisure initiation, selfcontrol, mental retardation


Self-determination has become an important theme in the fields ofspecial education, therapeutic recreation, and mental retardation in recent years, and has been described as an important consideration related to the facilitation of community-based recreation and leisure opportunities for persons with mental retardation. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of using self-control strategies to facilitate self-determination skills in adolescents with mild and moderate mental retardation within the context of leisure. The self-determination skills which were studied within this two part inquiry are decision-making in leisure and independent leisure participation. The impact of decision-making instruction on the decision-making skills of four subjects with mental retardation was measured using a single subject design.. The study also investigated the efficacy ofusing the self-monitoring-based Leisure Action Planning (LAP) process to facilitate independent leisure participation in the same subjects. Results of part 1 indicated that one subject became quite capable of independent self-instructed decision-making upon the introduction of the Decision Making in Leisure (DML) model, while the other three subjects displayed variable levels of independent self-instruction. In part 2 all subjects developed the ability to self-monitor and independently initiate leisure participation, upon the introduction of the Leisure Action Planning intervention. One follow-up generalization probe found students capable ofgeneralizing their self-monitoring and independent leisure initiations to a community-based setting. The present findings provide evidence that self-determination behaviors can be facilitated in individuals with mental retardation within the context 'of leisure participation.



Research Papers