Teaching Adolescents with Mild Mental Retardation to Make Decisions in Leisure through the Use of Self-Control Techniques


  • Michael J. Mahon
  • Charles C. Bullock


Decision making in leisure, leisure education, leisure awareness, self-instruction, independence, selfcontrol.


Few programs focused on teaching individuals with mental retardation decision-making skills exist in the literature and the ones that exist appear to rely upon encouragement and reinforcement rather than self-control techniques to facilitate the development of thoughtful, planned and systematic decision-making in leisure. This study, based theoretically on the principles of cognitive behaviorism, was to determine the impact of decision making instruction which incorporates self-control techniques as compared to instruction which provided only encouragement and verbal praise, on decision-making in leisure of four adolescents who were mildly mentally retarded. In addition, the study sought to determine the impact of an initial leisure awareness program on the level of leisure awareness of the four students. All four of the students displayed an increase in'self-instruction by the end of the study. All of the students from the follow...up portion of the study displayed either maintenance or improvement in their self-instruction skills. This study has provided initial support for the efficacy ofthe use ofthe Decision Making in Leisure model (Mahon, 1990) in facilitating thoughtful decision-making in leisure for adolescents with mental retardation.



Research Papers