Differences in adult adjustment and self-concept between employed and unemployed mentally handicapped males

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Differences in adult adjustment and self-concept between employed and unemployed mentally handicapped males
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1981.
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Bibliography: leaves 110-120.
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by James B. Heaney.
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Typescript.
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Vita.

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Full Text













DIFFERENCES IN ADULT ADJUSTMENT AND SELF-CONCEPT
BETWEEN EMPLOYED AND UNEMPLOYED
MENTALLY HANDICAPPED MALES








BY

JAMES B. HEANEY


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY




UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1981

















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


A note of appreciation is certainly in order for all those

who have given so freely of their time and expertise that this

endeavor may succeed.

Thanks to my wife, Kathy, who typed the first three evolving

drafts.

Thanks to Mrs. Martha Claflin, Dr. Elaine Beason, Dr. Tom King,

Ms. Judy lacino, Dr. Bill Boomer, Dr. Elizabeth Delaney, Ms. Janet

Yates, and Mrs. Dee Hand at Fort Hays State for their combined

patience, encouragement, and the "space" they allowed me in finish-

ing this.

Thanks to Mrs. Lee Ann Brunson, Mr. Lou Allen, Mrs. Wanda

Miller, and especially Mr. Jim Thomas for their help in locating

subjects and in finding places to test them.

Thanks to Mrs. Cynthia Sebrell Ratteree who monitored the tests

and was a true inspiration.

Thanks to my committee chairman, Dr. Stuart E. Schwartz, who

took me under his wing and made me crank, crank, crank until some-

thing worthwhile was produced. He was an inspiration both through

his concern for excellence and his example of diligence.










Thanks to Dr. James W. Hensel for insisting that I follow the

straight and narrow and for occasionally reintroducing me to reality.

Thanks to Dr. Brian DuToit whose objectivity from his outside

perspective kept my focus from becoming too narrow.

Thanks to Dr. Bob Algozzine who guided me through the trials

and tribulations of the research component of this work.

Thanks to Dr. Jim Whorton whose insights into vocational

programs for special needs students were invaluable.

Also special thanks to Dr. Myron Cunningham and Dr. Cary Reichard

for their assistance with this project.















TABLE OF CONTENTS



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . .

ABSTRACT . .

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION . .


Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Statement of Hypotheses
Delimitations .
Limitations .
Assumptions .
Definition of Terms .


CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE . .

The Work Ethic in Western Society . .
Summary . . .
Employment of Mentally Handicapped Adults .
Summary . . .
Adult Adjustment . . .
Summary . . .
Adult Adjustment of Mentally Handicapped Individuals .
Summary. . . .
Self-Perceptions Held by Mentally Handicapped Persons and
Perceptions of Such Persons by Those Without Handicaps .
Summary .
Adaptive Behavior and Self-Concept Rating Scales .

CHAPTER III

PROCEDURES . . .

Statement of Null Hypotheses . .
Designs . . .
Structural Models . . .












Subjects
Verifiers


Data Collection . .
Instrumentation . .

CHAPTER IV

ANALYSIS OF DATA . .

Statistical Treatment .
Statistical Analysis of Hypotheses
Hypothesis 1 . .
Hypothesis 2 . .
Hypothesis 3 . .
Hypothesis 4 . .
Summary . .

CHAPTER V

DESCRIPTION OF RANDOM SAMPLE .

CHAPTER VI


. . . 56
. . . 58


. .
Tested
. .
* .
* .
* .
. .


SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Summary . .
Conclusions . .
Implications . .
Recommendations . .

APPENDIX A LETTER OF REQUEST FOR SUBJECTS


B SOCIAL AND PREVOCATIONAL INFORMATION BATTERY .

C SELF-PERCEPTION INVENTORY . .

D RAW DATA . . .

REFERENCES . . .

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . .


. 86

. 86
. 89
. 92
. 94

. 96


98

101

104

110

121
















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate
Council of the University of Florida in Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


DIFFERENCES IN ADULT ADJUSTMENT AND SELF-CONCEPT
BETWEEN EMPLOYED AND UNEMPLOYED MENTALLY HANDICAPPED MALES

By

James B. Heaney

March,. 1981

Chairman: Stuart E. Schwartz
Major Department: Special Education

It was the purpose of this study to compare adult adjustment

scores and self-concept scores of 20 employed and 20 unemployed

mentally handicapped males between the ages of 18 and 54. Subjects

resided within the State of Kansas with slightly over half from

urban areas. Instruments tested successfully for reliability and

validity were administered to determine subjects' adult adjustment

skills and self-concepts. These instruments were the Social and

Prevocational Information Battery and the Self-Perception Inventory.

Analysis of variance was used to determine the existence of signifi-

cant differences in the mean scores of the groups involved. In

addition, employed subjects were asked if they considered themselves

adequately employed and unemployed subjects were asked if they thought

they could acquire and maintain competitive employment. Significant










others in the subjects' lives were asked their responses to the

same questions for verification. In order to determine whether

the subjects and verifiers agreed in their responses beyond chance

probability, the Fisher Exact Test was administered. To supplement

the Fisher Exact Test a ratio test was also given. Additional

analyses of variance were performed on variables of discrete age

groups and location in conjunction with employment status.

Results of the analysis of variance design applied to the adult

adjustment and self-concept instrument mean scores indicated that no

significant differences existed between employed and unemployed

subjects in those areas. Results of application of the Fisher Exact

Test to responses on job adequacy by those employed or employability

by those unemployed, matched with their verifiers, indicated agreement

between those employed and their verifiers and disagreement between

those unemployed and their verifiers. However, a ratio test showed

significant agreement between subjects and verifiers in both groups.

Using the supplementary analyses of variance mean scores, the highest

age group was determined to possess the lowest levels of self-percep-

tion. Specific suggestions were made for elaboration and diversifica-

tion of the research subject matter of this study.
















CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION


The purpose of this study was to compare adult adjustment scores

and self-perception scores of employed mentally handicapped males

with those of unemployed mentally handicapped males. Justification

for this study rested in the researcher's questioning of the

variable of employability as a critical factor in association with

adult adjustment and self-concept as measured by specific instru-

ments demonstrating satisfactory degrees of validity and reliability.

Historically, employment has been considered a principal

criterion for determining successful adjust adjustment (Olshansky,

1972). Edgerton and Bercovici (1976), however, questioned the

relevance of employment to adjustment in a follow-up study of

deinstitutionalized mentally retarded adults. In Edgerton's original

study of this group, he concluded that many of the subjects "accepted

work as the quintessential means of proving themselves to be normal,

worthy human beings" (1976, p. 491). Slightly more than a decade

later, many members of the same group thought of themselves as "normal"

despite being unemployed (1976, p. 493). The apparent contradictions

between the first research and its follow-up regarding the influence










of work on adjustment were cause for concern by investigators. If

employment no longer demanded a pivotal position in one's life, a

reexamination of the present secondary curricular focus for

mentally handicapped students seemed in order. In addition, the

question arose as to what concept, if any, replaced the work ethic

in the handicapped individual's hierarchy of values.

The following research was primarily an attempt to gauge

whether handicapped males adjusted to the demands of society as

well when they were not working as when they were working as

measured by both an adult adjustment scale and a self-perception

inventory. Also, in order to shed additional light on the employ-

ment situation for handicapped adults, employed persons were queried

concerning the quality of their employment while unemployed persons

were asked their opinions of their own employability. Significant

others were used to validate each subject's response to the question

concerning adequacy of employment or employability.

Traditionally, vocational education authorities have con-

fronted the work ethic from a rather unified position. Brown

(1958) called work "an essential part of man's life which

gives him status and binds him to society" (p. 187). Herzberg,

Mausner, and Snyderman (1959) conducted a study in which they con-

cluded that the single most effective variable in raising the mental

health level of most persons was an increase in the capacity for

work motivation. Friedmann and Havighurst (1954) identified five

needs which the performance of work satisfied. They were the need

for income, time and energy expenditure, identification and status,










association, and meaningful life experiences. Yet Neff (1968),

in his comprehensive text entitled Work and Human Behavior, began

to question these assertions when he concluded "we are becoming

increasingly aware that the will to work is not a God-given natural

resource, like air and water" (p. 258). Terkel (1972) after inter-

viewing 136 laborers of varying occupations for his best seller,

Working, suggested that perhaps the psychological dehumanization of

modern American working conditions had blunted the traditional "work

ethic." The whirlwind social phenomena of the past two decades may

have altered the position of the work ethic in our society. However,

Wenrich and Wenrich (1974) who made sympathetic reference to several

of the more positive vocational findings above, felt that the work

ethic had retained its importance through the early 1970s.

The closest approximation to a percursor of this study was a

comparison between characteristics of employed and unemployed mentally

retarded males based on their respective backgrounds, evaluations, and

employer ratings (Kolstoe, 1961). Two critical variables distinguished

the two studies. First, Kolstoe's subjects had a median I.Q. of 76

which was in keeping with the earlier American Association on Mental

Deficiency (AAMD) definition of mental retardation being only one

standard deviation from the general population mean (Heber, 1959).

The upper limit for the range of subjects' I.Q.'s in the present study

was 69 on the Wechsler and 67 on the Stanford-Binet for those subjects

between 18 and 25. This was based on the revised AAMD definition in

which two standard deviations below the mean were principal determiners

of mental retardation (Grossman, 1973). Second, the earlier study gauged

successful adjustment according to impressions made on significant










others, i.e., vocational raters and employers. In addition to using

an outside adjustment scale, the present research followed the

suggestion of Edgerton and Bercovici (1976) and determined adjust-

ment through self-concept responses of the subjects themselves.

The assumptions that workers were better adjusted (Brown, 1958)

and had better self-concepts (Friedmann & Havinghurst, 1954) than

nonworkers, had for too long gone untested. This research repre-

sented the first step taken to apprise concerned professionals of

the situation as it existed in 1980.


Statement of the Problem

Employment has long been considered an essential criterion

for adult adjustment of mentally handicapped individuals (Olshansky,

1972). However, a recent study (Edgerton & Bercovici, 1976) cast

doubts on this allegation and concluded that continued "commitment

to a work-ethic may be increasingly counterproductive" (p. 494).

The problem for the present research study concerned employment as

an associate of work adjustment and self-concept. What was the

relationship between employment and the two variables of work adjust-

ment and self-concept among mentally retarded males?


Purpose of the Study

It was the major purpose of this study to compare adult adjust-

ment scores and self-concept scores of employed and unemployed










mentally handicapped males between the ages of 18 and 54. It was the

secondary purpose of this study to determine the subject's satis-

faction with his employment situation, if employed, and to determine

whether the unemployed subject was considered by himself and/or

significant others to be, in fact, employable. It was the tertiary

purpose of this study to investigate the possible effects of the

variables of discrete age groups and location, as well as employment

status, on the mean scores of the administered adult adjustment and

self-perception instruments.


Statement of Hypotheses


1. The independent variable of employment does not alter the

degree of adult adjustment of mentally handicapped adults as

measured by the Social and Prevocational Information Battery

(Halpern, Raffeld, Irvin, & Link, 1975).

2. The independent variable of employment does not alter the

self-concepts of mentally handicapped adults as measured by the

Self-Perception Inventory (Soares & Soares, 1974) (See Appendix B).

3. The independent variables of the subjects' rating of the

adequacy of their employment and the verifiers' rating of the

adequacy of the subjects' employment have no relationship (p. = .05).

4. The independent variables of the subjects' rating of their

employability and the verifiers' rating of the subjects' employ-

ability have no relationship (p. = .05).










Delimitations

The topic for this research was the comparison of the scores

on self-concept and adult adjustment scales of employed and un-

employed mentally handicapped males between the ages of 18 and 54.

Also addressed were the views of the subjects and significant

others in their lives on the adequacy of employment of those

employed and the employability of those unemployed. Subjects for

this study included 40 mentally handicapped males between the ages

of 18 and 54 who resided in the State of Kansas. In addition to

their sex, age, and mental status, subjects were chosen on the basis

of three criteria. They were required to reside outside of an

institution at the time of the study; they must have been considered

capable of competitive employment by qualified professionals; and

they must have expressed a willingness to become involved in the

study. Subjects were secured through the cooperation of the Kansas

Association for Retarded Citizens, local special education instructors,

and job placement coordinators of sheltered workshops.


Limitations


The age range of 18 to 54 excluded adults over 54 years of age.

This group (54 and above) was excluded as employment limiting

physical disabilities begin to take their toll in the mid 50's and

in later years retirement may have affected the research findings.

Females were excluded from the present study due to the expecta-

tion that a significant number of chosen mentally handicapped females










between the ages of 18 and 54 would have been employed as housewives.

Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (1974) defined a housewife as "a

married woman in charge of a household" (p. 555). It was determined

by this researcher that the unavoidable extraneous variables which

would be introduced into a design in which housewives were included

would seriously threaten the validity of this study. These variables

included the lack of a formal wage arrangement, the inconsistency

of a job description, and the absence of a recognized employer.



Assumptions

For the purpose of this research the assumptions were made

that (a) both subjects and significant others responded in accord-

ance with their actual perception of reality in answering respective

questions and (b) individuals classified as mentally handicapped

were, in fact, mentally handicapped. Realizing that this classifi-

cation was arbitrary, no satisfactory measure of adaptive behavior

had, by the date of this study, been made available for research.


Definition of Terms

Advocate: one providing services to an unemployed mentally

handicapped individual; includes, in order of selection, voluntary

advocates, social workers, Supplementary Security Income contact

persons, VISTA volunteers, clergy, and associates who take an active

interest in the subject.










Mentally handicapped: mentally retarded; having been classified

as mentally retarded during one's public school career by one's

school psychologist or by the Division of Health and Rehabilitative

Services in later years by a psychologist appointed for determining

one's recipient status.

Mentally retarded: mentally handicapped.

Employed: presently salaried in a competitive occupational

position.

Rural: residential area having a population of less than 50,000.

Self-Perception Inventory (SPI): measure of how the subject sees

himself.

Social and Prevocational Information Battery (SPIB): series of

nine tests designed to assess knowledge of skills and competencies

widely considered critical for the ultimate community adjustment of

mentally retarded individuals.

Unemployed: presently unsalaried.

Urban: residential area having a population exceeding 50,000.

Verifier: one used for confirmation or substantiation.















CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE


This section divided the literature reviewed into six sub-

sections to be used as focal points for the study. The subsec-

tions are (a) the work ethic in Western society, (b) employment

of mentally handicapped adults, (c) adult adjustment, (d) adult

adjustment of mentally handicapped individuals, (e) self-percep-

tions held by mentally handicapped persons and the perceptions of

mentally handicapped persons held by significant others, and (f)

adaptive behavior and self-concept rating scales. Each subsection

was determined to be directly relevant to the research project.


The Work Ethic in Western Society

The status of the work ethic in Western society was of funda-

mental importance in the compilation of this research project.

Although much popular literature reported a serious ebbing of the

work ethic in Western culture, some writers disputed such an allega-

tion while others defended this alleged ebbing as a natural conse-

quence of poor management (Goodwin, 1972; O'Toole, 1974; Stencel,

1977; Tiffany, Cowan, & Tiffany, 1970).










Anthropologists in this century studied primitive tribes

whose language usage may shed some light on the origins of the

Western work ethic. Although the languages of the tribes of

interest were exceedingly rich in labeling areas of their respec-

tive concerns, there existed no words denoting "work." The lack

of a term for work did not, however, mean that work was absent from

these societies. On the contrary, work was such an integral part of

everyday life that to be awake was synonymous with to be working.

This could well have been the situation in the preliterate West

(Kransberg & Gies, 1975).

In any case, by the Classical Era in the West, an alternative

to work had been embraced at least in theory. Aristotle con-

sidered leisure to be the only life for which man was fit. Six

centuries later, St. Augustine described the ultimate reward for

a good and just life as the eternal leisure of heaven. Work was

regarded as the penalty mankind paid for original sin.

Although the work ethic, as it is known today, began to take

shape in Catholic doctrine as early as the Sixth Century, A.D.,

the zeal of the Protestant Reformers such as Luther and Zwingli

was a powerful catalyst in this transformation. In addition to

beggars, courtiers and clergy were called upon to toil in order

that they justify their sustenance. In Zwingli's words, "In the

things of the life, the laborer is most like to God" (Tawney, 1926,

p. 115). Attacking the monastic life of contemplation and prayer,

Martin Luther felt there was no substitute for a tangibly productive










vocation. He considered work to be the base and the key to life

(Kransberg & Gies, 1975).

Many of the explorers and early settlers who came to the New

World did not share this veneration for labor. Columbus himself,

upon seeing the tropical vegetation along the verdant shoreline,

described the land as a second Garden of Eden where food was avail-

able simply for the picking. Over a century later and a thousand

miles north, Captain John Smith of Virginia was commissioned to map

the relatively barren New England coast. He was so impressed by

its potential that he concluded a three-day work week would

sufficiently provide for any settler. No suggestions were made of

somehow filling this proposed idle time with work. As the 13

colonies became settled, a distinctive leisure class was formed.

This was composed of men who owned slaves or hired indentured servants.

Man's worth and freedom was inextricably bound to his exemption from

work. Gentility became synonymous with leisure (Rodgers, 1978).

By 1850 the Protestant work ethic was firmly entrenched in the

United States with its greatest emphasis in the populous North. The

seeds had been planted by the Puritans and Quakers who brought with

them from Europe the concepts of methodical labor and avoidance of

idleness as articles of faith. During the 17th and 18th centuries

in Europe, the spark of the work ethic was kindled by the writings

of philosophers and economists. John Locke, the English essayist,

put forth the proposition that all property acquired its title from

labor. Equally heretical to the landed gentry was the claim by

Adam Smith, the Scottish economist, that labor was the ultimate source











of wealth (Rodgers, 1978). From 1820, when immigration records

were first kept, to 1850 almost one-half million European

immigrants came to America, many espousing the Protestant work

ethic (Braddock, Neuhauser, & Reed, 1978). By the mid-nineteenth

century, the thriving middle class in the northern part of the

United States was decidedly influenced by this concept. At either

end of the American spectrum, the wealthy aristocracy or the urban

laborers, the reception to the work ethic was considerably less

enthusiastic. Possibly due to the relative sparsity of the leisure

class in the North, the middle class was able to set the tone for

the rest of society. As the idea of labor for its own sake gained

in popularity, politicians seized the concept and used it for their

own purposes. The statesman, William Evarts, became but one of many

when he said "Labor, gentlemen, we of the free States acknowledge to

be the source of all our wealth, of all our progress, of all our

dignity and value" (Foner, 1970, p. 12).

Contrary to common belief, the work ethic which blossomed in

the United States around 1850 did not consist solely of the

Protestant moralists' fear of idleness and the doctrine of usefulness.

Two other ingredients caused it to transcend fundamentalist religious

values in its attractiveness. These additional elements were the

dream of success and the idea that work could be both a creative and

a fulfilling act (Rodgers, 1978). Literature on the self-made man

who toiled incessantly and was rewarded by fame and wealth burgeoned

across America. Referring to the creative potential of the laborer,

Thomas Carlyle wrote "A small Poet every Worker is" (1918, 236).










Inherent contradictions, which would later be forced into the

open, were not addressed at the time. These contradictions

included the disparity between creativity and self-repression on

the one hand and between social obligation and private benefits

on the other. To encapsulate the Protestant work ethic of 130 years

ago, work was considered to be the focus of the moral life. It put

men to good use in a world of economic want. It combatted doubts

and temptations that fed on idleness. It allowed for deserved wealth

and status. Finally, it permitted a man to leave the imprint of his

own mind and skill on the material world.

Industrialization, which was only emerging in the United States

in 1850, went a long way toward destroying the work ethic as it was

at that time conceived. The industrial age in America received its

first impetus in 1820 when a textile mill was built in Lowell,

Massachusetts. Soon other mills sprang up and the small craft shop

was unwittingly put on the long, but inevitable, road to extinction.

Factories existed prior to this time, but rarely consisting of more

than a dozen laborers. Gutman (1973) described a New York ship-

building factory of the mid-nineteenth century as the scene of

frequent refreshment breaks, some of them for grog, where a high

degree of cameraderie was evident. This type of labor leniency was

representative of the time (Kranzberg & Gies, 1975). Industrializa-

tion eroded the existing work ethic in several ways. Before the

Civil War in the United States, Northerners decried slavery as

inhumane in that poor laborers toiled for the wealth of their masters.

In the latter part of the nineteenth century, when Northern factories










employed thousands of workers in substandard conditions with low

wages, the parallel to the antebellum South was inescapable.

Flying in the face of the success literature of the time was the

eventual realization of industrial workers that climbing the

vertical ladder to wealth and fame was, for most workers, just

fiction. Any hope for artistic fulfillment went by the wayside

when "efficiency" for increased production became the byword of

the day. Finally, the asceticism of the Protestant ethic gave way

to middle-class accumulation. One of the most significant changes

during the industrial period was the moralists' relegation of work

from an essential to an instrumental virtue (Rodgers, 1978).

In 1866 the first convention of the National Labor Union was

held. This was the first national labor federation in the United

States. It lasted hardly a decade but was soon replaced by the

more resilient American Federation of Labor. As the Labor Movement

increased in strength, many of the harsher working conditions were

improved (Karson, 1958). However, the destructive effects of

industrialization on the work ethic appear not to have been

seriously altered.

Two depressions and two World Wars between 1870 and 1945

effectively punctuated the labor concerns of the American worker.

After World War II, a second threat to the work ethic appeared in

the form of mechanization/automation. By 1960 the age of automation

had caused service workers (salespersons, government employees,

maintenance workers, etc.) to replace those in manufacturing as the

predominant work group in the American labor force. Automation










caused further specialization in employment positions from the

already-specialized industrial age. The few crafts which remained

or evolved in the modern age were subdivided in the constant

corner-cutting toward greater efficiency and higher productivity.

The creation of "knowledge jobs" in which supervisors decided for

maintenance men which areas received priority was but one example

of this phenomenon. Thus, little room for personal fulfillment

appeared to be afforded the worker. A study by Heisler and Houck

(1977) concluded that no more than 25 percent of industrial workers

were job-oriented. The study admitted that most would continue

working even if they did not need the money but only because they

were presented with no meaningful alternatives. Blue collar workers

were seen as still accepting the need for work butnot expecting

much fulfillment from their present job. Tiffany et al. (1970)

reached the dreary conclusion that "income has become the sole

standard of work satisfaction" (p. 104).

The question inevitably arose as to the role the American

welfare policies of the 1960's and 1970's played in the degeneration

of the work ethic. Evidence presented, both against and in favor of

the present welfare system, left the issue in doubt. According to

Goodwin (1972), the recipients of welfare valued work initially as

much as the mainstream of society. However, they tended to lose

interest in work when they discovered that their efforts to acquire

and maintain employment were futile. Stencel (1977) wrote about

the current disdain for the work ethic among teenagers, especially

black youth. Four elements worked against the successful job










maintenance of this subgroup. They possessed extremely limited job

qualifications; welfare kept them in food, clothing, and housing;

an integral component of their social system was dependence on

women; and, most importantly, "easy money" (through illegal activity)

was readily available. This study showed that all teenagers

exhibited a disregard for the work ethic. They became more demanding

about the kind of work they would do, their hours of employment, and

the amount of money to be earned, while at the same time, exhibited

shoddy work habits. Noticeable deficits were observed in punctuality,

cooperation with peers, acceptance of supervision, and combining

personal problems with the employment situation. While the effects

of welfare on the work ethic were inconclusive, there was little

disagreement that the American welfare system as it existed was not

the answer to America's poverty problem (Costello, 1977).

In a vocational education text, Wenrich and Wenrich (1974)

insisted that the old-fashioned work ethic continued to thrive in

this country. It was, perhaps, telling to note that none of the

references they cited (Brown, 1958; Friedmann & Havighurst, 1954;

Herzberg et al., 1959) in support of this proposition had been

published within the past two decades when the brunt of automation

had been felt. In contrast to the Wenrich and Wenrich work, Terkel

(1972) spoke of the daily humiliations of work, of workers who

compared themselves to robots, whose only human actions were at the

beginning and end of the work day. "In between, I don't even try to

think" (p. 5). Neff (1968) asserted that some people did not really

succeed in work in spite of having the requisite mental and physical










abilities. Edgerton and Bercovici (1976) found that their subjects

rarely mentioned work as being necessary for their self-esteem.

They viewed work not as fulfilling, but as a means to purchasing

power. Those on welfare were neither self-conscious about the

fact nor eagerly searching for employment.

An independent task force, headed by James O'Toole, recently

issued a report on the relationship between work and the quality

of life (O'Toole, 1974). Much of the blame on the recognized lack

of incentive to work industriously was placed, not on the individual

worker, but on the entire philosophy upon which the American work-

world exists. According to much of the evidence amassed in the report,

high absenteeism, "soldiering" on-the-job, and voluntary unemployment

are basically unorganized rebellions against dull, meaningless jobs.

Other causes of discontent were the attempted molding of human

workers into time-efficiency machines by adherents of Taylor's

scientific management movement (1911), the hugeness of work organiza-

tions relegating the individual laborer to an increasingly minute

position within the organization, and the gradual yet continual

attrition of self-employment options. Comparing the fledgling

worker movement toward better quality of life with the Negro and

woman's equality movements of the past two decades, O'Toole

hypothesized three events which would be necessary before a wide-

spread demand for change could occur. First, conditions must have

been improving. Second, the issue must have been crystallized and

finally, possible alternatives must have been known. The author

contended that each of these events were occurring but at an early










stage. His suggestions for the improvement of the quality of the

working life included the redesigning of jobs, increased wages for

those jobs considered the least desirable and mid-career training

for those in undesirable jobs who would otherwise be faced with no

options until retirement or death.



Summary

The preponderance of available literature on the work ethic

in the United States pointed to a disintegration of the concept due

to the inclusion of two variables in the labor situation during the

past century-and-a-half. Industrialization made its full impact

felt in the latter half of the last century and automation added

its thrust during the past 30 years. Whatever the causes of this

unsettling predicament may appear to have been, the research on

America's newest group of workers, adolescents, gave little promise

for improvement in the near future. However, the problem is being

increasingly recognized for what it is, which is an important step

in its eventual remediation. Efforts such as O'Toole's, if heeded,

may be a crucial second step in the resolution of this national

dilemma.


Employment of Mentally Handicapped Adults

This subsection of the Review of Relevant Literature deals with

mentally handicapped adults as workers. As is evident from the

following, the handicapped worker's status has been subject to the

foibles of influential employers and educators during his lifetime.










Little is known about the vocational success of mentally handi-

capped persons in the United States prior to the twentieth century.

Between 1776 and the mid-1800's adolescents were apprenticed to

skilled craftsmen for job training. However, few such positions

were available to handicapped individuals as the competition for

apprenticeship was vigorous and retarded persons could expect to

perform unskilled labor at best. In 1848, Samual Gridley Howe

established the first training program for those with mental retarda-

tion. This approach, which began a trend, emphasized the acquisition

of a specific occupational skill as the sole prerequisite for success-

ful employment of a mentally handicapped worker. By 1890 job failures

among retarded persons caused educators to rethink their strategy of

relying on a specific job skill. In fact, between 1890 and World War

I, little in the way of vocational training was attempted. This was

a period of paternalistic treatment in which handicapped persons

worked in institutions but were not trained in acquiring skills

(Hewett & Forness, 1974).

In 1916, Bernstein organized a colony in upstate New York.

This colony consisted of mentally retarded persons who were released

from an institution, participating in supervised labor and living

together in group homes. By 1921 the number of colonies had

expanded to the degree that one-third of the educable mentally

retarded institutional population of New York State had moved into

colonies and were productively working. The same year in New York

City a private agency, the Vocational Adjustment Bureau, was

established to find jobs for mentally retarded and emotionally











disturbed individuals. In the meantime, World War I had taken

place, putting many non-handicapped persons into uniform and many

mentally retarded, at least temporarily, into their vacated

positions (Hewett & Forness, 1974). Some deinstitutionalized

retardates who found employment at this time were described by

Fernald (1919).

Just as its predecessor, World War II caused the opening of

many employment opportunities for retarded workers. In 1943

the Barden-LaFollette Act was passed which added Office of Vocational

Rehabilitation services to mentally retarded persons. Twelve years

later, an important step forward was taken in employment opportunities

for mentally handicapped persons, when the New York City public

schools and Office of Vocational Rehabilitation combined their

efforts and established a formal cooperative program. Over much of

the country this example was followed (Brolin, 1976).

Beginning in the 1950's and continuing until the present, docu-

mentation of vocational efforts of mentally handicapped individuals

h-s been extensive. A report was received of a survey of 1,144

mentally retarded persons considered uneducable showing that 14

percent of the women and 26 percent of the men were gainfully

employed (City of Birmingham, England, 1956). No mention was made

of any training attempts for these people. In 1960, mentally

retarded workers and nonhandicapped (but low socio-economically-

based) workers who had graduated from the same high school were

compared in employment situations as well as other areas. Handicapped

workers had a significantly higher unemployment rate, received










lower wages, and labored at lower status jobs than members of the

comparison group (Peterson & Smith, 1960). Dinger (1961) emphasized

the positive vocational adjustments of retarded adults. He conducted

a study in which he determined that over 83 percent of those who

had graduated from or otherwise left the public school system in

Altoona, Pennsylvania, were either employed, continuing their

education, or working as full-time housewives. Forty-two percent

of those queried who still lived in Altoona were receiving higher

wages than a beginning Pennsylvania school teacher ($3,600 in 1958).

Countering Dinger's employment findings, Keeler (1964) reported

that in San Francisco area only 40 percent of the mentally handi-

capped population was employed either full or part-time. However,

Baller, Charles, and Miller (1967) found that in Lincoln, Nebraska,

almost 80 percent of the former students with I.Q. scores of less

than 70 were fairly regularly employed. Kidd (1970) concurred by

determining that 86 percent of the former students of educable

mentally retarded (EMR) classes in an urban area were employed full-

time. Several other studies have been completed, giving the employment

situation of mentally handicapped adults high marks (Kelley & Simon,

1969; Posner, 1970) or low ones (Brolin & Wright, 1971; Tobias, 1970).

Due to the multitude of conflicting reports, coupled with the lack of

definitive criteria for vocational success, no firm statement can be

made at this time concerning the state of the art of the employment

situation for mentally handicapped adults.










More light can be shed on the determiners of successful

employment for a retarded individual. As was mentioned earlier,

in the last century a specific job skill was thought to be the only

essential ingredient for a handicapped worker to succeed. By the

turn of the century, this idea was recognized as being incorrect,

but rather than attempt a different tack, vocational habilitation

was largely ignored. In the late 1960's researchers began to look

for significant variables in vocational success for retarded

individuals. A study by Chaffin (1968) pointed to the rate of

production as being an important component of success. Also shown

to be critical success factors were manual dexterity (Sali &

Amir, 1971) and language and communication skills (Fiester &

Giambra, 1972). Of extreme importance was the finding of indepen-

dent researchers that neither specific job skill nor intelligence

within the range of educable mental retardation were critical

variables for employment success. Instead, personal adjustment

skills and work habits were found to be of prime significance for

job acquisition and maintenance (Domingo & McGarty, 1972; Neuhaus,

1967; Sali & Amir, 1971).

Several recent studies addressed job satisfaction as it

related to performance, severely handicapped workers and the current

plight of the retarded worker. Talkington and Overbeck (1976)

explored the relationship between expressed satisfaction or

dissatisfaction with work assignments and the actual performance

of these assignments. The results mirrored those of similar studies

performed with nonhandicapped populations. Job satisfaction was










found to be highly related to attendance, reliability, and general

efficiency.

Two studies related to the severely mentally handicapped

worker. Jacobs (1978) contested Wolfensberger's (1967) statement

that farming as a variable employment source for severely retarded

workers was no longer practical by citing his own experiences with

an agricultural project in the rural Southeast. There severely

retarded trainees were taught to glean crops after harvesting.

Gleaning is the collection of the remainder of the crops left

over after the crops have been harvested. He predicted an eventual

annual income of as much as $5,000.00 with as little as 20 percent

of the cost of a sheltered workshop. Most importantly, the

farmers were beginning to recognize a need for these workers and

were scheduling their services months in advance. Bellamy, Inman,

andYeates (1978) performed research on three severely retarded

workers in a sheltered workshop where cable harnesses were manu-

factured. The three workers were given $.02 instead of $.01 if their

harnesses were completed before a set timer went off. This timing

was calculated on the average completion time for the subjects

which was gauged earlier. Under the timer contingency method two

of the three subject's production rose such that it approached the

industrial time standard of nonhandicapped workers. In addition to

a reduction in task completion time, day-to-day production consistency

rose sharply.

According to Razeghi and Davis (1979), the situation of the

retarded worker at the end of the 1970's was a bleak one with few










causes for optimism. As recently as 1974, the authors stated,

only two percent of the 13 million students served in vocational

education were handicapped. Citing Hightower (1975) the authors

claimed that only 21 percent of the educable mentally retarded were

fully employed, 40 percent were underemployed, and 26 percent were

unemployed. However, the coordination of the efforts of the

United States Office of Education and the Rehabilitative Services

Administration may result in a positive change for this subgroup of

American society. By consolidating relevant aspects of their

policies toward handicapped persons, these two government agencies

were in the process of combining the strengths of recent legislation

on the rights of the handicapped.



Summary

Beginning with the history of the employment of mentally handi-

capped persons in the United States, this section of the review of

relevant literature examined numerous studies on their vocational

success. Conflicting findings and the lack of a firm definition

of vocational success resulted in no conclusion being accepted

regarding this concept. Inroads within the past decade have been

made concerning critical factors in vocational success for retarded

workers. Recent research with severely mentally handicapped workers

showed them accomplishing vocational goals considered impossible

only a few years ago. Finally, vocational education was reported as,

until recently, shirking its obvious obligations toward the handi-

capped. The same study gave the unemployment rate of educable










mentally retarded individuals as several times that of the

regular work force.


Adult Adjustment

According to Eisdorfer and Lawton (1973) a consistent

developmental perspective of the human personality, from infancy

through old age, has yet to be published. Having discovered

little to dispute this assertion, the present researcher presented

different fragmented perspectives as they appeared in modern psycho-

logical literature.

The concept of adjustment was borrowed by psychology from its

biological origins in Charles Darwin's philosophy of "survival of

the fittest" (1859). Just as man is influenced by physical demands,

he also must make certain adjustments to social pressures. These

are demands which arise from living interdependently with others.

The pressures begin when the infant is expected to accede to the

parents' expectation that he will acquire proper values and behavior

patterns. They continue through much, if not all, of adulthood

when the parents continue their expectations, now regarding marriage,

career, residence, and life style (Lazarus, 1961). The demands to

which the individual must respond are of two kinds. They are

external and internal demands. External demands arise from social as

well as physical conditions of existence. Beginning with simple

tasks, such as self-feeding in early childhood, the demands subtly

progress as the child matures psychologically. Gradually, concepts

and values become components of his repertoire. If the child fails










to comply with the parents' expectations, he is greeted with dis-

approval and other negative consequences. If the child's

behavior measures up to his parents' demands, he is rewarded

with approval and other positive consequences. Internal demands

begin with physical needs within the individual, such as the need

to drink, to eat, or to eliminate waste. During development,

internal social needs arise. These include the need for human

companionship, for social approval, for self-esteem, and for love.

Demands can cause conflicts in one of three possible ways. Two

internal needs can be in opposition to each other; two external

needs can be incompatible; and an internal need may oppose an

external demand. An example of two conflicting internal needs

occurs when one's desire for love and approval must be weighed against

the desire for social prestige. The competition for the prestige

could easily result in diminished love and approval. External

demands could be opposed when each parent attempts to influence the

offspring's personality in different directions. The third conflict,

internal versus external needs, can be illustrated in the parents

sending their son to a boarding school for academic development

when the child is in extreme need of parental companionship (Lazarus,

1961).

Adjustment can be classified into one of two types, achievement

or process. As achievement, evaluation is implied. In this

situation four classes of criteria may be used. These are psycho-

logical comfort, work efficiency, physical symptoms, and social

acceptance. Lazarus (1961) admitted to certain limitations in










applying the criteria. Cultural relativism cannot be totally

removed as a variable. That is, different cultures apply different

standards for behavior. Second, someone may be considered well-

adjusted by one of the four criteria and maladjusted by another.

Third, even within one culture, "adequacy" of adjustment is an

arbitrary term, as yet bound by no standard. Adjustment as a process

focuses on how exactly does one adjust. Two types of adjustment

processes have been named. The first consists of the modification

or inhibition of internal impulses. The second results in the

alteration in some way of the environmental demand.

Piaget (1952) incorporated the two types of adjustment processes

into his theory of cognitive development. For Piaget, intelligence

is defined as an adaptive process in which there is a balance between

assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation is the process by

which the individual fits the environment to biologic or mental

systems already in existence. Accommodation is the process by which

the individual modifies himself in order to fit the environment.

Riesman (1950) drew a dichotomy between the inner-directed and the

other-directed individual. The former carries his values and

standards of conduct with him and does not change them to accommodate

the social climate of the times. The other-directed person is easily

influenced by outside pressures to change his value system.

Just as Piaget's last developmental stage, formal operations,

begins at approximately 11 years of age, most developmental theories

concentrate on the childhood years. The above perspectives are no

exception. They were summarized in this review in order to set the










stage for adult adjustment. Yet before focusing on the psycho-

logical development of the adult, the preceding period must be

briefly addressed, that of adolescence. Garrison, in his

Psychology of Adolescence (1965), used Maslow's hierarchy of needs

as a basis from which to determine the needs of the adolescent.

In order of importance, these needs are physiological, safety,

belongingness and love, status or esteem, and self-actualization

(Maslow, 1954). By adolescence the last three needs have achieved

predominance. Using a 90 item questionnaire, Lucas and Horrocks

(1960) were able to subdivide these needs further and develop a

hierarchy based on the responses of 725 adolescents. Through factor

analysis five identifiable needs emerge. In order of priority these

are recognition-acceptance, heterosexual affection and attention,

independence-dominance regarding adults, conformity to adult expecta-

tions, and academic achievement. As the youth matures, the possibilities

of frustration due to the inability or delay in satisfying these needs

increase. Areas of activity in which these outlets may be found

include relationships, work, recreation, community service, mis-

behavior or delinquency, and neurotic traits and illness (Laycock,

1950). Any one of four types of adjustment may occur when an

adolescent is frustrated in his efforts to satisfy a need. He may

continue toward the goal, compromise the goal, distort the original

goal, or withdraw entirely from the goal (Garrison, 1965).

Although many theories of adult psychological development exist,

few theorists are in basic agreement on substantive issues in the

field. According to Levinson (1978) the most promising school of










thought in this area is that which splintered from Freud's school

of depth psychology. This theory of personality included both

conscious and unconscious aspects and showed how childhood

personality development had a great influence on one's adult life.

The father of the modern study of adult development is considered

to be Carl Jung who was an early disciple of Freud and broke away

in 1913 (Levinson, 1978). Jung differed from Freud in two important

spheres. First, he believed Freud focused too narrowly on childhood

development and its influence on adult problems, conflicts, and

creativities. Second, Jung felt that Freud's clinical background

caused him to overemphasize psychopathology and internal processes

and thereby neglect social institutions, religion and mythology. Jung

viewed the young adult as one caught up in emotional involvements

and childhood conflicts. He has difficulty coping with the demands

of family, work, and community. At approximately 20 years of age

his personality has not yet had time to achieve full growth. The

next period of fundamental personality change occurs at around 40

years of age. Here again individuationn" begins. Individuation

means the process of a changing relationship between an individual

and his "self" and also a changing relationship between an individual

and the external world.

A second former devotee of Freud who has had an enormous

influence on modern conceptions of adult psychological development

is Erik Erikson. As his theory evolved, Erikson gravitated toward

Jung, differing in large extent only in his refusal to incorporate

Jung's elements of mysticism. Erikson saw the life cycle as a










series of eight ego stages. The first four cover early and middle

childhood (Erikson, 1950). The fifth stage, which is called

Identity vs. Identity Confusion takes place during adolescence

and extends into the Early Adult Transition. The sixth stage,

entitled Intimacy vs. Isolation, occurs in one's twenties. The

last two stages, Generativity vs. Stagnation and Integrity vs.

Despair, take place at around 40 and 60 respectively (Erikson,

1950).

Summarizing current theories of adult personality, Knox (1977)

defined several central themes. The principal theme, in his

opinion, is "the shifting manner in which the person strives to

maintain and enhance his or her sense of self from late adolescence

and young adulthood through middle and old age" (p. 317). Decision-

making, requiring assertiveness, goal setting and self-directedness,

is another theme in adult personality. Decisions result in conflicts

and conflicts (e.g., between personal and social gains) involve

feelings and attitudes. The probability of conflict with age

peers increases with age as the range of individual differences

in most personality characteristics widens between early young adult-

hood and the beginning of old age. Perceived well-being increases

from late adolescence to early adulthood, decreases in early middle

age, goes up again in late middle age before retirement, and

declines again through old age (Knox, 1977).

The fast pace of American society with its constant state of

flux has taken a definite toll on the personality of its citizens

according to Putney and Putney (1964). Distinguishing between the










"normal" (as defined in the cultural relativity of a society) and

the "natural" (which satisfies human needs), the authors insist

that normal neuroses are the rule rather than the exception in

society. Neurosis is defined as an internal, nonorganic barrier

to need fulfillment. Only the relatively rare truly autonomous

person has both the ability and the disposition to conform when

conformance is functional and to innovate when normal behaviors

would leave one's needs unsatisfied.

Recognizing the psychological adjustment problems in modern

society, Tiffany et al. (1970) noted that a new category of mental

disorder was inserted in the American Psychological Association's

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of 1968.

The new category concerned social maladjustments without manifest

psychiatric disorder in which occupational maladjustment appeared.

This classification gave legitimacy to the claim that adjustment

to the world of work was becoming a significant concern to the

medical profession.



Summary

This review of relevant literature on adult adjustment began

with the origin of the concept of adjustment with Darwin. Both

physical and psychological aspects of adjustment were presented,

as well as the differentiation between internal and external needs.

Brief summaries of the theoretical perspectives of the founders of

modern developmental psychology were given. The central themes

around which topical adult personality theories are based were










enumerated. The position of normal neuroses in modern society

was addressed and, finally, the possible influence of work on

today's adult adjustment was mentioned.


Adult Adjustment of Mentally Handicapped Individuals

From the establishment of the first experimental school for

"idiotic" children in Massachusetts in the 1840's, special educators

have professed the desire that the retarded individual be given the

services necessary to attain social and vocational competency upon

maturation. The extent to which this goal has been accomplished or

is within range is reflected in the findings of researchers of adult

adjustment of mentally retarded persons.

Throughout much of the second half of the nineteenth century,

institutionalized mental retardates in America were given access to

a substantial degree of vocational training. This training was

Provided with the assumption that the benefactors would in due time

return to their former residences fully habilitated as productive

citizens. By the 1890's the image of the resident of the state

school for the retarded had regressed from that of potential

producer to burden. Three reasons may be ascribed for this failure

to adapt. First, it was popularly thought at the time that only

specific skill training was needed to prepare the retarded individual

for life outside the residential school. Second, no standardized

test to measure intellectual functioning had yet been produced whereby
levels of retardation could be distinguished. Thus, a significant

proportion of the students were severely and profoundly mentally










handicapped. When these individuals did not progress at a satis-

factory rate under the traditional educational methods of the era,

the entire effort was called into question. Third, many of the

residents of state schools were from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

As they had not been trained at the schools in daily living or

personal-social skills, these individuals could not reasonably be

expected to function totally independently upon job placement.

The alternative, a return to their families, was often considered

debilitative due to the marginal existence of the families

(Goldstein, 1964).

Fernald (1893) estimated that only 15 percent of the inmates at

Waverly Institute in Connecticut had the potential for economic and

social independence. Most of the rest could be trained to work on

the grounds at Waverly in exchange for their keep. Later, in a

follow-up study of 1,537 former Waverly inmates who had been dis-

charged during the period between 1890 and 1914, Fernald (1919) was

forced to admit that his early estimates of adjustment success were

incorrect. Most of the dischargees had been given little preparation

for independent living, yet deinstitutionalization was considered

successful for the majority of those who could be located.

In 1916, a man named Bernstein began organizing "colonies" out

of Rome State School in upstate New York. Colonies were semi-

independent facilities which housed students who performed super-

vised labor and thus supported themselves. Within five years,

one-third of the mildly retarded population of New York were either

on leave, on parole, or in colonies. In 1921, in New York City, the









Vocational Adjustment Bureau was established. The function of this

private agency was to find jobs for those with diagnosed emotional

disturbance or mental retardation. In the 1930's, placement of

mentally retarded individuals with families in the community for

care and supervision was introduced (Hewett & Forness, 1974).

A large number of studies on the adjustment of mentally retarded

adults were reported between World War I and the 1950's. Matthews

(1922), in another Waverly study, followed the careers of 100 male

adolescents paroled from the institution. This was a selective

group as each had participated in an organized training regimen prior

to discharge. All but three boys were considered to have made a

satisfactory adjustment to community life. During this period,

criteria for successful adjustment were based on material found on

police and complaint records, marriage records, and any other data

collection on public file. If the individual had avoided public

notice, he was regarded as adjusted. Little and Johnson (1932)

studied the adjustment of parolees from Laconia State School between

1925 and 1930. An 83 percent success rate was determined. Coakley

(1945) reported that the severe shortage of domestic manpower during

World War II created job openings for retarded workers. When the

subjects of Coakley's research attained employment, in spite of

previous mediocre job records, these people were able to maintain

their jobs throughout the duration of the war. Saenger (1957)

studied the adjustment of severely and moderately mentally retarded

adults in New York City between 1929 and 1955. He determined that

two-thirds of the population were living in the community and, of these,

over half impressed the author as being in socially acceptable physical

and mental states.










Adult adjustment studies were abundant in the 1960's.

Peterson and Smith (1960) compared retarded adults with those of

normal intelligence in terms of educational, work, home and family,

and civic characteristics. They noted significant discrepancies

favoring the nonhandicapped population in every area. A recommenda-

tion was made to prepare for adult adjustment of retarded persons

through a well-organized preparation program in the senior high

school. In a Pennsylvania study, Dinger (1961) found mentally

retarded adults to be considerably better adjusted than reported

by Peterson and Smith. Furthermore, he lamented the predominance of

research on the deviancies of retarded individuals and suggested

more emphasis on their respective strengths. Although anecdotal in

nature, Butterfield's (1961) description of an adult with Down's

syndrome and a Stanford-Binet I.Q. range of 28 to 36 appeared to be

a step in the direction suggested by Dinger. As a 32-year-old adult,

this individual "does all of the housework. He does the washing and

ironing, vacuums, makes beds, washes the floors and windows, takes

out the rubbish, runs all of the errands and pays all the bills"

(p. 445). This was a situation in which institutionalization was

recommended and public school educational services were denied

(after age 12). At the same time, Windle, Stewart, and Brown (1961)

pointed toward poor work performance and inadequate interpersonal

relations as the chief causes of failure of institutionalized persons

in vocational leave situations.

Three important longitudinal studies on the adaptability of

retarded individuals were published in the mid-1960's. Edgerton










(1967) described the day-to-day lives of 48 persons who have been

discharged from a state hospital for the mentally handicapped in

California. A central factor in their lives was the stigma

attached to retardation. They attempted, on every occasion, to

cover up the fact that they bore this undesirable label. Under

the pretense that one's watch or glasses were broken, the time-of-

day or sign that identified a bus were asked. Only through the

assistance of unofficial advocates was even marginal adjustment

considered to be achieved. In a follow-up of Baller's (1936, 1939)

earlier research, Baller, Charles, and Miller (1967) showed a mean

gain in I.Q. of 28.6 points for subjects studied over a period of

45 years. This finding flew directly in the face of claims that

measured intelligence was static. Kennedy (1948, 1966), in a

follow-up report comparing retarded individuals with peers of normal

measured intelligence in Connecticut, found considerable upward

employment mobility for the handicapped persons but at a slower

initial rate than the control group. Although employer ratings

scored the handicapped group below the control group in learning,

judgment, and efficiency, they received generally favorable job

ratings and had better absentee and punctuality records than the

control group.

In 1970 Carl Haywood leveled specific criticisms at the majority

of reports on the adjustment of retarded adults discharged from

institutions. Cited defects in most of the studies included incon-

sistency in the extent of information gathered, definitions of

adjustment, time factors involved, and sampling procedures used.










Wolfensberger et al. (1972), borrowing from the European concept

of "normalization" (Nirje, 1969), ushered in a new chapter in the

American facilitation of adjustment procedures for handicapped

adults. He called for services "as culturally normative as possible,

in order to establish and/or maintain personal behaviors and

characteristics which are as culturally normative as possible"

(p. 28). In the former article, the curriculum for mildly retarded

secondary students was judged to be too limiting when it was discovered

that graduates were independently finding and keeping higher level jobs

than those for which they were trained. Relying on operant condition-

ing, Gold showed that vocational expectations by trainers in

sheltered workshops were insufficiently challenging for their clients.

Severely retarded adults under Gold's (1972) tutelage were trained to

assemble a 15-piece bicycle brake. A year later the clients were

rechecked and their accuracy was found to have remained at a high

level.

Expressing a current view on the degree of adjustment success

of the deinstitutionalized, Crawford, Aiello, and Thompson (1979)

gave efforts a mixed review at best. They were supported in their

assertion by Conroy (1977) who found that more people were returning

to institutions than were being placed into the community.

Adequate follow-up procedures were recommended as the most critical

component of a proper placement. In their review, Heal, Sigelman,

and Switzky (1978) placed higher priority for successful placement

on the community support system than on the character traits of the

individual being placed. Redding (1979) compared the life adjustment










skills of low socio-economically based cooperative work training

graduates with educable mentally retarded high school graduates

based on their responses to structured questionnaires. Although

based on the criteria used, the nonhandicapped samples exhibited higher

adjustment skills than those with mental retardation; the author noted

that some results favorable to the handicapped were uncovered. Fully

70 percent of the retarded sampled were employed and their mean weekly

salary was over $110.00. With both groups a dearth of leisure time

utilization skills was observed.

Finally, an article by Coffman and Harris (1980) noted the

similarities between adjustment problems faced by deinstitutionalized

retarded adults and those encountered by normal individuals placed

in an alien culture.



Summary

This section of relevant literature traced chronologically the

research on adult adjustment of mentally retarded individuals in

America from the 1840's through 1979. Limited data were available

until mid-century. However, since that time pertinent material on

the subject has multiplied in volume.


Self-Perceptions Held by Mentally Handicapped Persons and
Perceptions of Such Persons by Those without Handicaps


The following section of the review of relevant literature

consists of two principal subsections, that concerning the manner

in which the retarded individual viewed himself and that focusing











on the perception others held of the retarded person. In the first

subsection, the following areas regarding the mentally handicapped

individual's self-concept are discussed: consensus on the positive-

ness of the retarded person's self-perception, the effect of

institutionalization on one's self-concept, other lifetime traumas

which may have deep repercussions on the handicapped person's self-

concept, coping in public with one's perceived deficits, variations

in self-concepts and their implications, the devastating combination

of retardation and minority status on self-concept in American

society, the effects of attendance of regular versus special classes

on self-perception, and the changing role of stigma in adult adjust-

ment.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, no clear consensus has been

attained regarding the feelings a mentally handicapped person

harbors toward himself. However, most of the studies which have

attempted to discover this have concluded that a more negative than

average self-concept exists (Collins, Burger, & Koherty, 1970;

Harrison & Budoff, 1972; Piers & Harris, 1964). Edgerton and

Sabagh (1962) discussed the possible metamorphosis of a retarded

person's self-concept upon institutionalization. According to their

theory, individuals entering institutions for the mentally retarded

fit roughly into two groups: those already mortified and those who

had thus far refused to accept the stigma of mental retardation. A

paradox presented itself as the psychologically healthier status of

acceptance of condition, which would probably result in an ideal

inmate, would consign the individual to a permanent institutional










stay. In contrast, those refusing to accept their assigned condi-

tion would have the better chance of successful adjustment upon

deinstitutionalization. Aggrandizement, or reconstruction of the

self-concept, was given a fair chance of occurrence through the

modes of peer-group relationships, relations with employees, and

comparisons with the more severely retarded population. However,

the self-concept which would evolve would be dependent on continued

institutionalization for its sustenance.

Lazarus (1961), analyzing autobiographies of physically impaired

persons with implications for retarded individuals, depicted two

periods in their lives when the handicap could profoundly affect

their self-concept. The first would occur the initial occasion a

child realized he was not totally like other children. The second

lasted throughout adolescence when the teenager "has to cope with

two kinds of persisting overlapping situations, that owing to his

disability and that owing to his transitional status as child-adult"

(p. 185). In his report on community living patterns of mildly

handicapped adults, Edgerton (1967) noted a sense of shame due to

skill deficits and former institutionalization which caused a

defensiveness on their part. In an effort to become accepted as

equals to their peers of normal intelligence, handicapped individuals

would wear a recognized status symbol, a watch. When they were

asked the time or needed to know the time for another reason, these

people became trapped in a true bind as they lacked time-telling

skills. Their method of coping with the situation was to claim the

watch was broken. In the same year that Edgerton's work was










published, Cleland, Patton, and Seitz (1967) compared insults given

out by mentally handicapped persons and business school students

toward hypothetical adversaries. Whereas the students cast

aspersions at someone's character, the handicapped individuals

berated his intelligence. The latter two studies provide additional

evidence pointing to a negative self-concept for the mentally

retarded person. Chinn (1979) reported that retarded members of

minority groups had their self-perceptions threatened by prejudices

against both their ethnic status and their measured intelligence.

Responding to employers' complaints of lack of motivation among this

group, Chinn cited the sparsity of appropriate work-oriented modeling

and lack of encouragement by significant others as factors responsible

for this situation.

Within the parameters of mental retardation, variation in self-

concept has been claimed to cause variation in learning ability.

Strong correlations have been shown between high self-concept and

both school grades and intelligence (Brookover, Erickson, & Joiner,

1967; Snyder, 1966). Using questionnaires to gauge the relationship

between self-concept and learning ability both Hardy (1967) and Wink

(1963) reached the conclusion that retarded adolescents with high

self-concepts learned better at first and are less prone to let later

negative reinforcement stymie this process.

The relationship between the effects of regular versus special

classes on the self-concept of retarded students has been the

subject of numerous studies. While the findings concerning the










effects of special class placement on self-concept included lowing

it (Borg, 1966; Meyerowitz, 1965), and not changing it significantly

(Bacher, 1965; Knight, 1967; Nash & McQuisten, 1977), most of the

evidence pointed toward improving it (Carroll, 1967; Drews, 1962;

Towne, Joiner, & Schurr, 1967). In a follow-up of the Towne et al.

(1967) study, Schurr and Brookover (1967) found that the self-concept

scores of special class students continued to rise for a full year

and a half after the period covered in the original research.

In Edgerton and Bercovici's (1976) follow-up of Edgerton's

(1967) descriptive report of community living, a change was noted

in the subject's placement of stigma on their hierarchy of personal

values. Previously, it was reported that the stigma of being

mentally retarded was one of the central components of the everyday

lives of most of these individuals. Much of their time was spent

attempting to "pass" as persons of normal intelligence. Yet, the

latter research showed that "passing" retained its importance with

only five of the 30 subjects interviewed. In fact, notwithstanding

a lack of vocational success among a significant proportion of the

group, "many of these people appear to define themselves as normal"

(p. 493).
In the second subsection, which concerned the perceptions of

mentally handicapped persons by those without handicaps, four

conceptual areas were discussed. They were the significance of

inappropriate behavior in causing prejudice against educable

mentally retarded children by their teachers and peers, regular

versus special education classes as variables in determining peer










attitudes toward mentally handicapped children, attitudes of members

of the business-industrial sector, landlords, parents and outsiders

toward mentally handicapped individuals, and European attitudes

toward retarded persons.

Johnson (1950) did research on two communities which included

educable mentally retarded students in regular classes without

additional services. Acceptance scores by peers decreased in rela-

tion to the decrease of I.Q.'s of respective EMR students.

Baldwin (1958) studied a school situation in which certain criteria

were used in determining EMR students eligible for regular class

placement. In spite of this selectivity, the social acceptance of

the eligible retarded students was much lower than the social

acceptance of those students not considered retarded. The principal

reason given for lack of acceptance in each of the above studies was

not academic limitations but inappropriate behavior. Dexter (1958)

reported that deviant behavior could well be a factor in special

class placement but defined this behavior as the natural response

to inappropriate treatment by the handicapped child's peers and

teachers.

Research on attendance of EMR students in regular classes had

done little to support Dunn's (1968) contention that integrated

learning situations result in positive attitudinal change on the

part of nonhandicapped populations. Goldstein, Moss, and Jordon

(1965) did show that nonhandicapped children played more often

after school with mentally handicapped peers who attended regular

classes than with those who were enrolled in special classes.










However, it must be noted that some social contact, important in

establishing after-school playmates, would occur in integrated

classes and would be lacking in segregated ones. Goodman,

Gottlieb, and Harrison (1972) determined that in a nongraded

elementary school, integrated EMR students were accepted less often

and rejected more often than their nonhandicapped peers. Gottlieb

and Budoff (1973) compared peer acceptance of nonhandicapped

students, segregated EMR students, and integrated EMR students

in nongraded schools. The integrated EMR group were rated as the

least accepted. Finally, lano, Ayers, Heller, McGettigan, and

Walker (1974) decided to gauge the acceptance rate of educable

mentally handicapped students who had previously attended special

classes and had been mainstreamed into the regular classroom with

additional advantage of a supportive resource room program. These

were no better accepted than those reported in the above studies.

Two hundred members of the business-industrial sector were

interviewed by researchers for Baltimore Goodwill in order to deter-

mine prospects for job placement in that city. Based on the

questionnaire results, the best job opportunities for handicapped

persons were in the areas of clerical, food services, custodial,

service stations, and upholstery. The areas in which the handi-

capped applicant would stand the least chance of attaining employment

were those of sales and laundry. Businessmen expressed a greater

amount of concern with work attitudes and motivation than with

technical skills (Stewart, 1977).










An attempt was made to determine whether wage-earning mildly

retarded adults would be subject to discrimination from landlords

in the New Paltz, New York, area. The subjects of the study were

100 landlords who advertised apartments for less than $200.00 per

month. Two phone calls were made to the landlords. The first was

from an anonymous renter who asked ten specific questions concern-

ing the advertised apartment (e.g., what the rent included, avail-

ability of shopping area). After receiving answers to the questions

posed, the renter politely informed the landlord that he had decided

not to rent the apartment. The second call was reputedly from an

advocate of a mildly retarded individual who had attained a job

within the general area of the apartment in question. To the first

caller all 100 responses were encouraging. To the second caller,

only one truly encouraging response was forthcoming. Sixty-four

said they would not rent to the retarded person, either because

the apartment was already rented (one-half hour after the first

call), or because they did not trust the capability of the retarded

person to be an adequate tenant (Trippi, Michael, Colao, & Alvarez,

1978).

Four one-half hour television programs depicting retarded

individuals in a positive light were shown with the expressed

purpose of favorably altering mothers' attitudes toward their

retarded offspring. Of the 18 concerns of parents addressed, only

four showed positive attitudinal change on the part of parents

after viewing the programs. The author (Baran, 1979) suggested

that even such a modest change was a step in the right direction










and it was perhaps expecting too much to anticipate that four tele-

vision programs could erase a lifetime of feelings and experiences.

In the second subsection of this section, the following areas

regarding perceptions of mentally handicapped persons by those with-

out handicaps are discussed: the attitudes of mothers toward their

handicapped children, differences in public attitudes toward mildly

and severely handicapped persons, and the effects of the label
"mentally retarded" on individuals' perceptions of the causes of

one's task completions.

Graduate students in a clinical practicum in mental retardation

and mothers randomly chosen from a university community were exposed

to videotapes of mother/child interaction. In each videotape a mother

and her child were involved in a 15-minute play session. Nonretarded

as well as retarded children were labeled as such and half the time

they were not. Both graduates and mothers rated the retarded children

more likable when they were labeled but both groups also placed

labeled and nonlabeled retarded children farther from themselves on

the social scale than the nonretarded children (Seitz & Geske, 1976).

In the second study, Siperstein and Gottlieb (1978) found that public

attitudes toward mildly retarded individuals were considerably more

favorable than those toward severely mentally retarded persons.

Lastly, Severance and Gasstrom (1977) administered booklets containing

two case studies to 96 female undergraduates. The cases described

either successes or failures at task completion. In half of the

successes, as well as the failures, the label "mentally retarded"

was included in the child's description. Using Frieze and Weiner's










(1971) attribution of four sets of causal elements (skill, motiva-

tion, difficulty, and luck) by which social perceivers explain the

behaviors and outcomes of others as the basis for their research,

the authors questioned the undergraduates as to which elements

dominated in their case studies. For the children randomly labeled

retarded, failures were seen as more along ability related lines and

effort (or lack of it) was blamed at a higher rate for non-labeled

failures. Regarding success, a retarded person was thought to exert

more effort than a person not labeled retarded.

After research in Europe, Lippman (1972) concluded that

Europeans generally possessed a more positive attitude toward the

handicapped person than Americans did. This attitude was brought

home to America in Wolfensberger et al.'s (1972) work entitled

Normalization. The concept of normalization, borrowed from Scandinavia

(Nirje, 1969), and defined in the Adult Adjustment of Mentally Handi-

capped Individual's section of this literature review, promised to

have a profound influence on American treatment of retarded adults.



Summary

This section of the review of relevant literature consisted of

two subsections: Self-Perceptions Held by Mentally Handicapped

Persons and Perceptions of Such Persons by Those Without Handicaps.

The first subsection contained consecutively: consensus on the

positveness of the retarded person's self-concept, the effect of

institutionalization on one's self-concept, other lifetime traumas

which may have deep repercussions on the handicapped person's










self-perception, coping in public with one's perceived deficits,

variations in self-concepts and their implications, the devastating

combination of retardation and minority status on self-concept in

American society, the effects of attendance of regular versus

special classes on self-perception and the changing role of stigma

in adult adjustment. The second subsection contained consecutively:

the significance of inappropriate behavior in causing prejudice

against mentally retarded children by their peers and teachers,

regular versus special education classes as variables in determining

peer attitudes toward mentally handicapped children, attitudes of

members of the business-industrial sector, landlords, parents, and

the general public toward mentally handicapped individuals, and

European attitudes toward retarded persons.


Adaptive Behavior and Self-Concept Rating Scales

According to the AAMD manual, adaptive behavior is "the

effectiveness or degree with which an individual meets the standards

of personal independence and social responsibility expected of his

age and cultural groups" (Grossman, 1973, p. 11). Criteria for

successful adaptive behavior begin with sensory-motor communication,

self-help, and socialization skills in the early years of life and

end with daily living, vocational, and social abilities in adulthood

(Brolin, 1976).










Adaptive behavior scales applicable for usage with educable

mentally handicapped adults are limited in number. The most

commonly mentioned are the AAMD Adaptive Behavior Scale and the

Vineland Social Maturity Scale (Brolin, 1976; Robinson & Robinson,

1976). The former purports to measure self-sufficiency, sensory-

motor development, socialization, domestic abilities, vocational

promise, and responsibility (Nihira, Foster, Shellhaas, & Leland,

1969). The VSMS attempts to discover traits of social responsibility,

personal independence, and initiative. In addition, it is used to

determine the level of learning readiness an individual possesses

(Doll, 1964).

Surprisingly, neither of the above were mentioned in Brolin and

Kokaska's (1979) comprehensive text on career education for special

needs students. Instead, a relative newcomer to the field of

adaptive behavior measurement was suggested. It is entitled the

Social and Prevocational Information Battery (SPIB) and is the work

of Halpern, Raffeld, Irvin, and Link (1975). The purpose of its con-

struction was to determine knowledge of skills and competencies

deemed essential for the ultimate community adjustment of mildly

retarded persons. Nine areas are scored: purchasing habits, budget-

ing, banking, job-related behavior, job search skills, home management,

health care, hygiene and grooming, and functional signs. These are

directly related to five long range objectives of junior and senior

high school work-study programs: employability, economic independence,

family life, personal habits, and communication. Using the Kuder-

Richardson formula 20, a reliability rating of .93 was found for










senior high school students. In order to determine predictive

validity, economical correlation was performed between the SPIB

tests and five scores from an adjustment rating instrument

administered to vocational rehabilitation counselors one year

after the subjects left high school. A first order correlation

of .58 showed a moderate relationship between the SPIB scores and

the others (Halpern et al., 1975). Brolin and Kokaska (1979) concluded

that this instrument "is a substantial contribution to the occupa-

tional guidance area and worthy of utilization" (p. 216).

The self-concept is generally conceived as the total view a

person has of himself. Carl Rogers defined self-concept in a

manner which remains relevant today:

an organized configuration of perceptions of the self
which are admissible to awareness. It is composed of
such elements as the perceptions of one's characteristics
and abilities; the value qualities which are perceived
as associated with experiences and objects; and goals
and ideals which are perceived as having positive or
negative valence. (Rodgers, 1951, pp. 136-137)

Brolin and Kokaska (1979) elaborated on this definition by attribut-

ing four components to the process of self-conceptualization.

First, the self-concept is learned and can therefore change with

new experiences. Second, it is influenced by "significant others."

Third, it is based on one's perceptions of oneself and one's

environment. Thus, any limitations in one's system of receiving

information (e.g., visual deficit) affect one'sself-concept. Last,

one places a certain value on what he perceives while looking at

himself.










The self-concept scales available at this time were primarily

designed to measure one's beliefs about oneself. They attempt to

gauge the individual's understanding of his present status, the

behaviors and attitudes others have of him, and the values he

places on what he perceives.

Self-concept scales were located in large quantity in The

Eighth Mental Measurements Yearbook (Buros, 1976). The Self-Esteem

Questionnaire (Hoffmeister, 1971) appeared to be a reasonable gauge

of self-concept but lacked sufficient information on itself

(especially regarding validity) to be useful at this time (Buros,

1976). Self-Concept as a Learner Scale (Waetjen, 1967) could be

used with adults but lacked a description of a normative population

(Buros, 1976). Self-Perception Inventory by William T. Martin (1969)

was age and subject appropriate but inadequate in normative data,

reliability and validity studies (Buros, 1976).

One self-concept scale was found which was age appropriate,

subject appropriate, and had sufficient normative population data.

Also present were validity and reliability measures. This was the

Self-Perception Inventory by Soares and Soares (1975). The area

explored in this study was the subject's perceptions of himself.

The test-retest reliability correlation was reported at .79.

Regarding validity, the student self-concept form correlates .68

with Coopersmith's Self-Esteem Inventory and .44 with the Tennessee

Self-Concept Scale.
















CHAPTER III

PROCEDURES


This study focused on the measurement of adaptive behavior and

self-perception of mentally handicapped males residing in Kansas.

Subjects were divided into two groups, i.e., those who were

employed and those who were unemployed at the time the measurements

were made. Additional investigations were made concerning the

adequacy of jobs held by employed subjects and the employability of

those subjects unemployed at the time the study was conducted.

Finally, the plethora of data for the hypotheses being tested caused

this researcher to examine other variables as possible associative

factors in adult adjustment and self-perception scores of retarded

men.

This chapter contains the statement of the null hypotheses, the

designs used in the research, the determination of subjects contained

in the sample, the instrumentation used in the research, and the

procedural method through which the research was conducted.


Statement of Null Hypotheses

1. There are no statistically significant differences (a = .05)

between the Social and Prevocational Information Battery scores of










the employed mentally handicapped males and the Social and Prevoca-

tional Information Battery scores of the unemployed mentally

handicapped males. (See page 68.)

2. There are no statistically significant differences (a = .05)

between the Self-Perception Inventory scores of the employed mentally

handicapped males and the Self-Perception Inventory scores of the

unemployed mentally handicapped males. (See page 68.)

3. There are no significant differences (p. = .05) between

the employed individuals' perceptions of their suitability for their

respective employment positions and the perceptions held by signifi-

cant others in the lives of the subjects who are in a position to

observe the subjects' work situations. (See page 70.)

4. There are no statistically significant differences (p. =

.05) between the perceptions of the unemployed individuals on their

employability and the perceptions of significant others in the lives

of the subjects on the subjects' employability. (See page 70.)


Designs

In order to determine whether the discrepancies in data

accumulated for the purpose of this study were greater than could

be attributed to chance, two statistical designs were chosen. An

analysis of variance (ANOVA) design was used to determine whether a

significant difference could be ascertained between the Social and

Prevocational Information Battery (SPIB) and Self-Perception Inventory

(SPI) scores of employed subjects and the SPIB and SPI scores of un-

employed subjects. The Fisher Exact Test was used in comparing the










subjects' perception of their job adequacy or employability with

the perceptions of the same phenomena by significant others in their

lives. A .05 level of statistical significance was used in both

designs.

The primary objective of this research design was to determine

the existence or lack of existence of a significant difference

between the SPIB and SPI scores of the employed mentally handicapped

males and the unemployed mentally handicapped males. A secondary

objective of this research was to determine whether the subject was

in agreement with his significant other regarding the adequacy of

his employment, if employed, or his employability, if unemployed.

Questions relating to adequacy of employment or employability were

directed toward the subjects themselves, social acquaintances of the

subjects, employers, or social workers who were familiar with the

subjects.


Structural Models

Employed and unemployed subjects were administered the SPIB

and SPI instruments. They were also asked to determine the adequacy

of their jobs, if employed, or their employability, if unemployed.

Verifiers were used to determine agreement. Figure 1 shows the

breakdown of employed and unemployed subjects on the SPIB and SPI

instruments (Model A) and compares their assertions on adequacy of

employment and employability with that of verifiers (Model B).












Model A


Subjects SPIB SPI


Employed C1 20 20


Unemployed C2 20 20


C1 presently salaried in a competitive occupational
position

C2 presently unsalaried



Model B


Subjects Mentally Verifier
Retarded

Employed D1 20 20


Unemployed D2 20 20


D1 adequacy of employment

D2 employability




Figure 1

Structural Models










Subjects

Forty subjects were chosen representing two distinct groups of

mentally handicapped males between the ages of 18 and 54. Twenty

subjects were selected from a population of employed mentally

handicapped males and 20 subjects were selected from a population

of unemployed mentally handicapped males.

Subjects were located through three means of communication.

Contacts with professionals dealing with retarded adults were

established via personal visits, telephone calls, and letters (Appendix A).

Areas through which retarded men could be located included sheltered

workshops, the Kansas Association for Retarded Citizens, the public

school system, and group living homes. Sheltered workshops in Hays,

Overland Park, and Wichita supplied subjects who were presently on

their waiting lists or had left their programs for various reasons.

Officials with the Kansas Association for Retarded Citizens notified

chapters in Hays, Norton, Wichita, and Pratt of the research being

attempted with the result that subjects were identified and tested

from those areas. Public school special educators from Hays,

Stockton, and Lawrence brought in several former students for

testing. Finally, houseparents in group living homes in Norton

and Wichita allowed residents to participate in the research. The

search for subjects continued until 20 employed individuals and 20

unemployed individuals were tested. The only incentive used to

encourage participation was the guarantee of a free meal during or

after the tests.










Criteria used in determining subjects included the following:

1. Subjects had to be between 18 and 54 years of age.

2. Subjects were not presently institutionalized.

3. Subjects were considered by qualified professionals to

be capable of competitive employment at the time of the study.

4. Subjects had to express a willingness to participate in

the study.

5. Subjects had to have attended mental retardation classes

in the public school system or been classified as mentally retarded

by the Kansas Division of Health and Rehabilitative Services.

The mean age of the subjects was 25.875. The mean age of those

employed was 25.95 and the mean age of those unemployed was 25.70.

The total population from which the subjects were chosen resided in

the State of Kansas.

The impression given by the majority of the subjects was one of

emotional rather than physical dependence on others for support. They

seemed none too sure of themselves and very much other-directed. The

greatest differences in apparent personality and appearance were

those between rural and urban residents. While some rural dwellers

owned their own vehicles, most were dependent upon their parents

(biological, foster, or house) or siblings for transportation.

Urbanites, on the other hand, rarely owned a car, but seemed to have

no trouble reaching destination points due to access to public trans-

portation. Rural subjects usually resided with their parents while

urban subjects were more often in group living homes. Subjects from

rural areas appeared to be more sociable and made of point of letting










the casual observer know they were on familiar terms with all their

neighbors. In contrast, urban residents seemed less out-going and

more competitive, more street-wise. Those who lived in urban areas

were definitely more clothes conscious than their rural counterparts.

For both groups television was probably the most favored form of

entertainment. Few expressed an interest in participant sports.



Verifiers

For the group of employed individuals, verifiers consisted of

two employers, three Association for Retarded Citizens personnel

associated with the retarded individuals, two job placement personnel

from sheltered workshops, two former instructors in public school

special education programs, and two group living home houseparents.

This was the hierarchy followed for verification. Several of the

verifiers gave verification for more than one subject.

For the group of unemployed individuals, verifiers were included

under the term advocates. As shown in the Definition of Terms, these

consisted, in order of selection, of two voluntary advocates, two

social workers, two Supplementary Security Income Contact personnel,

three VISTA volunteers, one member of the clergy, and seven associates

who took an active interest in the subject. Several of the verifiers

gave verification for more than one subject.

While commenting on a subject's contention of adequacy of

employment or employability, a consensus of the verifiers expressed

a genuine affection for the mentally handicapped subjects with whom

they had contact. A special education teacher from Lawrence said his










former students who were being administered the instruments were

"good people, like you and I. Most want to work but just like the

rest of us some don't." At a large sheltered workshop in Wichita,

a job placement officer uttered the thought that most of the workers

in the sheltered workshop conformed to the rules without the necessity

of a behavior management program. He felt that the desire to work

was strong enough to cause the clients to compete for the opportunity

for competitive employment in the community. At the other end of the

expectation spectrum, a group living home houseparent in Norton spoke

disparagingly of the motivation of one of the unemployed residents.

She stated he had unsuccessfully tried several forms of employment

and that he was probably the most intelligent resident in the home but

he simply did not appear to be serious about working. Overall, the

verifiers held the subjects they knew in high regard.


Data Collection

The data were collected over a two-month period, beginning May 15,

1980 and ending July 11, 1980. The instruments were administered at

the following Kansas sites: Glade, Hays, Lawrence, Norton, Overland

Park, Pratt, and Wichita. At Hays, Norton, and Wichita tests were

administered on several occasions as new subjects were located. Over

2,500 miles were traveled during the administration of the research

instruments. As is shown in Figure 2, three test sites have populations

exceeding 50,000 (U.S. Department of Commerce, 1980). At the urban

sites (Wichita, Overland Park, and Lawrence) subjects were local

residents from the respective cities. At the rural sites subjects










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were either local residents or were transported to the sites from

nearby towns.

The subjects were initially given the Self-Perception Inventory

which took an average of 20 minutes to complete. In addition to the

utilization of a sample item preceding the Inventory, continual

clarification of each item's intent, as well as the monitoring of

responses were performed to assure validity.

The Social and Prevocational Information Battery was then

administered to the subjects. This knowledge-based test of adult

adjustment skills consists of nine subtests, averaging 20 minutes

each. The SPIB manual suggests that its administration be divided

into three one hour sessions. This was accomplished by administering

the tests over a single day, punctuated by breaks of free time. After

the SPI and the first three subtests of the SPIB were completed, a

break was called with the subjects being allowed to walk about freely,

smoke cigarettes, and/or drink beverages. After a period of 15 to 30

minutes, the subjects were again assembled for subtests four through

six. After subtest six, another break was called. At this time the

subjects were treated to a meal. Lunch or dinner was supplied,

depending on the time of day during which the instruments were

administered. After the second break, subtests seven through nine

were completed.

For consistency of approach, each instrument was administered to

each subject by this researcher. The test administrator read the

item statement twice, then observed the subject's answer sheet to

determine that the correct space for that numbered statement was being










marked. Only one of the 40 subjects was found to be marking inappro-

priate items and those inappropriately marked were erased and

verbally readministered until responses were coordinated with the

numbers asked.

The sites used for testing varied with the type of contact

through which the subjects were located. Included among testing

sites were Association for Retarded Citizens offices, public school

buildings, sheltered workshops, and group living homes. In all cases

of administration of the instruments, sufficient writing space,

chairs, quiet surroundings, and proper lighting were provided.



Instrumentation

The Social and Prevocational Information Battery (SPIB) is a

series of nine tests designed to assess knowledge of skills and

competencies widely considered critical for the ultimate community

adjustment of mentally retarded individuals. The tests measure

knowledge of the following skills: purchasing habits, budgeting,

banking, job-related behavior, job search skills, home management,

health care, hygiene and grooming, and functional signs. These may

be condensed into five major high school work study objectives:

employability, economic independence, family life, personal habits,

and communication. A reliability rating of .93 was determined for

the instrument using the Kuder-Richardson formula 20. Comparison of

the mean scores of employed and unemployed subjects on this instru-

ment formed the basis of Hypothesis 1.










The Self-Perception Inventory (SPI) is a measure of how the

subject sees himself. The inventory, as used in this research,

measures solely one's perception of himself as a person. It is

age and subject appropriate with adequate data on the normative

population. Unlike many self-concept measures, SPI does supply

validity data. This shows SPI to correlate with Coopersmith's

Self-Esteem Inventory at the .68 level. The instrument is acknowledged

to be highly usable as it is presented in a straightforward manner,

comes equipped with short, concise directions, and has a clear format.

Comparison of the mean scores of employed and unemployed subjects on

this instrument formed the basis of Hypothesis 2.

Finally, two separate questions were asked, one to the employed

subjects and one to the unemployed subjects. The members of the first

group (employed) were asked whether they considered their position of

employment adequate. Their employers and social acquaintances were then

asked if they considered the subject's employment position to be adequate

for the subject's ability level. Comparison of the responses of the

subjects with that of their verifiers formed the basis of Hypothesis 3.

The members of the second group (unemployed) were asked if they believed

they could, in fact, acquire and maintain a job. Advocates, who had

been in contact with the unemployed subjects, were then asked if they

considered the subject employable in a regular job setting. A hierarchy

of verifiers under the term "advocate" included voluntary advocates,

social workers, Supplementary Security Income contact persons, VISTA

volunteers, clergy, and associates who took an active interest in the

subject. This was the order in which persons to be used as verifiers







64


were selected. Comparison of the responses of the subject with that

of their verifiers formed the basis of Hypothesis 4.
















CHAPTER IV

ANALYSIS OF DATA


The data presented in this chapter are the final results of

statistical treatments used to investigate for differences and

relationships between and within employed and unemployed mentally

retarded men concerning adult adjustment skills and self-perceptions.



Statistical Treatment

Data were collected and treated with two statistical techniques,

i.e., one way analysis of variance and the Fisher Exact Test used

as an exact test of significance for a 2x2 table with small cell

frequencies. The one way analysis of variance was used to investi-

gate for differences between means obtained from employed and

unemployed mentally retarded males on measurement of adult adjust-

ment skills and self-perception.

According to Willemsen (1974), analysis of variance is a

method by which the total variance of a group of scores are

algebraically divided into portions. Under proper conditions these

portions can work as "an unbiased estimate of the variation due to

different identifiable sources" (p. 88). Among other sources,










specific subject characteristics such as present employment situa-

tion are relevant to the present research. Proper conditions

include the following assumptions: (a) each of the sampled population

is assumed to have a normal distribution and (b) all populations are

assumed to have the same variance. As participants in this study were

gathered representatively from a wide geographical and sociocultural

range from within the State of Kansas, normal distribution for utiliza-

tion of the analysis of variance design was achieved.

The second statistical treatment used was the Fisher Exact Test

(Borg & Gall, 1974). Due to the small frequencies occupying several

of the cross breaks, the Fisher Exact Test was used to reach exact

probability. The purpose of this technique was to examine the rela-

tionship in agreement between the subject and the verifier. Assumptions

for computation include complete independence of subjects.

In addition to the statistics used for verification of the

hypotheses, analysis of variance were used to accumulate inferences

regarding other variables found in the data. These variables included

discrete age groups (18-21, 22-27, and 30-54) and location (rural and

urban) which were observed with regard to employment status.


Statistical Analysis of Hypotheses Tested

Hypothesis 1

Statistical analysis of Hypothesis 1 is presented in Table 1. A

.05 level of significance with 1,38 degrees of freedom places the

critical point at 4.098 for Hypothesis 1.










Table 1

Degrees of Freedom, Sums of Squares, Mean Squares
and F-Ratios for Hypotheses 1 and 2

Hypothesis 1


Sum of Mean
df Squares Square F

Between Groups 1 1276.9 1276.9 0.86

Within Groups 38 56287.430 1486.248


Total 39 57564.332 1476.008


Social and Prevocational Information Battery

Hypothesis 2


Sum of Mean
df Squares Square F

Between Groups 1 193.600 193.600 0.63

Within Groups 38 11587.449 304.933


Total 39 11781.051 302.078


Self-Perception Inventory


Significant at .05 level of
region is F 4.098.

1. Computation of F 0.86.

2. Computation of F 0.63.


confidence with 1,38 df, critical











Statement of Hypothesis 1. There are no statistically signifi-

cant differences (a = .05) between the Social and Prevocational

Information Battery scores of the employed mentally handicapped males

and the Social and Prevocational Information Battery scores of the

unemployed mentally handicapped males.

Finding. Since F was not in the critical region at the .05 level

of confidence, the hypothesis was not rejected. The finding was that

there was no significant difference in adult adjustment based on

Social and Prevocational Information Battery scores.


Hypothesis 2

Statistical analysis of Hypothesis 2 is presented in Table 2.

A .05 level of significance with 1,38 degrees of freedom places the

critical point at 4.098 for Hypothesis 2.

Statement of Hypothesis 2. There are no statistically significant

differences (a = .05) between the Self-Perception Inventory scores of

the employed mentally handicapped males and the Self-Perception

Inventory scores of the unemployed mentally handicapped males.

Finding. Since F was not in the critical region at the .05 level

of confidence, the hypothesis was not rejected. The finding was that

there was no significant difference in self-perception based on Self-

Perception Inventory scores.

Hypothesis 3

Statistical analysis of Hypothesis 3 is presented in Table 2.

The critical level for Hypothesis 3 is at the .05 level of probability

with one degree of freedom.












Table 2

Adequacy of Employment Agreement and Employability
Agreement for Hypotheses 3 and 4


Hypothesis 3


Yes No p. ratio


Verifier Agreement 15 1

Verifier Disagreement 1 3

.0132 16/20=.80


Adequacy of Employment


Hypothesis 4


Yes No p. ratio


Verifier Agreement 14 1

Verifier Disagreement 3 2

.140 15/20=.75


Employability



Computation of Hypothesis 3 p. = .0132.

Computation of Hypothesis 4 p. = .140.










Statement of Hypothesis 3. There is no relationship between

employed individuals ratings of the adequacy of their own employment

and the ratings of their verifiers (p. = .05).

Findings. Data from Hypothesis 3 gave statistical support for

agreement between subjects and verifiers regarding the subjects'

adequacy of employment. The probability of .013 was rejected. A

confirmation of this finding was the ratio of agreement between

subjects and verifiers. Of the 20 subjects, 16 received agreement

from their verifiers. This ratio of 16/20 signified a high agreement

ratio of .8.

Hypothesis 4

Statistical analysis of Hypothesis 4 is presented in Table 2.

The critical level for Hypothesis 4 is at the .05 level of probability

with one degree of freedom.

Statement of Hypothesis 4. There is no relationship between

unemployed individuals' rating of their employability and the ratings

of their verifiers (p. = .05).

Findings. Data from Hypothesis 4 failed to statistically support

agreement between subjects and verifiers regarding the subjects'

employability as the probability of .140 exceeded the critical level

of .05. Therefore, Hypothesis 4 was not rejected. However, the

ratio of agreement between subjects and verifiers was almost as high

as that in Hypothesis 3. The ratio of 15/20 signified a high agree-

ment ratio of .75.

Added to the data used for testing and primary and secondary

hypotheses of this study, numerous other data appeared from










administration of the instruments. These were analyzed in order

to shed further light on adult-adjustment skills and self-concepts

of mentally retarded men. In order to determine whether age differ-

ences represented significant variables in SPIB and SPI scores, the

subjects were divided into three discrete age groups. Those between

and including the ages of 18 and 21 comprised one group, 22 to 27

the second group, and 30 to 54 the third group. The ages of 28 and

29 were not represented as no subjects were of that age. Another

domain of research interest consisted of subjects from rural locations

compared with those from urban locations. Seventeen of the subjects

(42.5 percent) were from rural areas and 23 of the subjects (57.5

percent) were from urban areas. Urban areas were arbitrarily desig-

nated as those with populations exceeding 50,000. Rural areas were

arbitrarily designated as those with populations of less than 50,000.

Finally, mean scores of each of the nine subtests of the Social and

Prevocational Information Battery were analyzed in an effort to deter-

mine whether significant mean differences occurred among age group,

employment status, or location variables.

Regarding the basic composition of the overall SPIB data, an

analysis of variance was run and no significant differences (F. = .05)

were found among mean scores for main effects, two-way interactions

or three-way interactions (see Appendix D). However, the two-way

interaction of Employment Status X Location came extremely lost at

F. = .058. Thus, at F.10 this difference would be significant. As

depicted by the table below, the greatest mean difference occurred

between rural employed and rural unemployed, the former outscoring










the latter by over 30 SPIB points. In contrast the urban employed and

unemployed achieved nearly identical mean scores. Another interesting

finding from this interaction is the large difference in mean score

between the urban (lower) and rural (higher) employed. In fact, the

rural employed standalmost 30 SPIB points above any of the other

three categories.

Although analyses of variance were not performed for groups when

isolated for location, large differences were seen for both the rural

and the urban samples. The interaction of discrete age groups and

employment status variables shown in Table 4, indicated wide dis-

crepancies favoring employed subjects in the rural grouping. The two

younger age groups (18-27) exhibited over 30 SPIB point differences

favoring those employed. No comparison could be made with those in

the 30 and over age group as it contained no unemployed members. A

wide range of mean SPIB points was achieved in the urban group

showing no pattern whatsoever. The youngest group (18-21) of un-

employed and oldest group (30-54) of employed were virtually tied

for the highest mean SPIB scores.

Analysis of variance were performed for each of the SPIB subtests,

using discrete age grouping, location, and employment status as

variables. No significant differences were discovered for the first

subtest, purchasing habits. For budgeting, the interaction of discrete

Age Group X Location was found to have a significant F. of .04. As

shown in Table 5, the only real discrepancy found in this interaction

is between rural subjects over 30 and the composite other groups.

The third, fourth, and fifth subtests, those entitled banking,

job related behavior, and job search skills respectively showed no










Table 3
Mean SPIB Scores: Employment Status X Location


Rural No. Urban No.

Unemployed 161.57 ( 7) 173.85 (13)
Employed 192.20 (10) 170.50 (10)







Table 4
Mean SPIB Scores: Discrete Rural and Urban Subgroupings


Age Unemployed No. Employed No.

18-21 167.33 (3) 200.67 (3)

S 22-27 157.25 (4) 211.25 (4)
30-54 0.0 (0) 155.00 (3)

18-21 188.83 (6) 172.00 (4)
C
| 20-27 159.50 (4) 151.67 (3)
30-54 163.00 (3) 187.33 (3)












Table
SPIB Subtest:


5
Budgeting


Rural No. Urban No.

18-21 21.00 ( 6) 20.80 (10)
22-27 21.38 ( 8) 18.29 ( 7)
30-54 14.67 ( 3) 19.17 ( 6)









Table 6
SPIB Subtest: Home Management


Rural No. Urban No.

Unemployed 16.71 ( 7) 20.23 (13)
Employed 21.00 (10) 19.40 (10)










significant differences among their mean scores. The analysis of

variance of the sixth subtest, home management, resulted in a

significant F. of .20 for the interaction between Employment Status

and Location (see Table 6). The major discrepancy in this subtest

was between the rural unemployed and employed. The urban scores

were approximately the same.

In the analysis of variance run for the seventh subtest, health

care, a significant F. of .029 was found for the interaction between

Employment Status and Location (see Table 7). Similar to the situa-

tion found with the previous subtest of Home Management, the rural

unemployed scored significantly lower than the rural employed, while

both unemployed and employed urban subjects received nearly identical

mean scores.




Table 7

SPIB Subtest: Health Care


Rural No. Urban No.

Unemployed 16.71 (7) 20.23 (13)

Employed 21.00 (10) 19.40 (.10)










Continuing the trend of the most recent two subtests, the

eighth subtest, that of Hygiene and Grooming, again revealed a

major discrepancy between the unemployed and employed rural subjects

with little or no mean score difference between urbanites. For this

subtest a significant F. of .006 was determined.


Table 8
SPIB Subtest: Hygiene and Grooming


Rural No. Urban No.

Unemployed 13.29 ( 7) 16.54 (13)

Employed 18.40 (10) 16.10 (10)


The final subtest, Functional Signs, demonstrated no significant

differences among variables when an analysis of variance was per-

formed on it.

An analysis of variance was performed on mean scores from the
Self-Perception Inventory (see Appendix D). A significant F (.007)

was determined for the Discrete Age Groups variable for the main

effects. As is evident from Table 9, subjects in the 30 to 54 age

grouping scored significantly lower than younger subjects on this

measure of self-concept. When divided into discrete groups by loca-

tion, the reasons for this difference become clearer. No unemployed

rural subjects between the ages of 30 and 54 were tested. Therefore,

only three over-30 groups were available for examination. Of those,










Table 9
Self-Perception Inventory: Discrete Age Groups


Age Mean SPI Score No.

18-21 27.19 (16)

22-27 21.00 (15)

30-54 4.00 ( 9)





Table 10
Mean SPI Scores: Discrete Rural and Urban Subgroupings


Age Unemployed No. Employed No.

18-21 27.67 (3) 34.33 (3)

22-27 21.00 (4) 23.50 (4)
CI.
30-54 0.00 (0) -4.67 (3)

18-21 26.83 (6) 22.00 (4)
C
-e 22-27 14.00 (4) 27.00 (3)
30-54 17.67 (3) -1.00 (3)










the unemployed urban sample exhibited a mean SPI score of 17.67

which placed comfortably above the mean score of the unemployed

urban subjects in the 22-27 age group. However, employed individuals

in the over-30 age group achieved negative mean scores whether they

were from urban or rural areas (see Table 10).



Summary

Investigations for significant differences and relationships

between employed and unemployed mentally retarded males between the

ages of 18 and 54 were conducted in the areas of adult adjustment

skills and self-concepts. In addition, probability of agreement

was determined between mentally retarded adults and significant

others in their lives regarding their responses to queries of

adequacy of employment for those employed and employability for

those unemployed. In determining differences and relationships in

adult adjustment skills and self-concepts, an analysis of variance

was used at the .05 level of significance. In determining agreement

between subjects and significant others, a Fisher Exact Test was made

due to the small marginal frequencies occupying several of the cross

breaks. This was applied at the .05 level of probability. Compari-

sons were then made using the variables of discrete age groups and

location, which, in conjunction with employment status, became the

subject of a series of analyses of variance. Significant F. was at

the .05 level. Analyses of variance were also performed on each of

the subtests of the Social and Prevocational Information Battery.










Application of the analysis of variance design resulted in

no significant differences between employed and unemployed

mentally retarded males in the SPIB and SPI scores. Application

of the Fisher Exact Test for small expected cell frequencies for

determination of agreement probability between subjects and

significant others in their lives resulted in significant

differences between unemployed individuals and their significant

others, but not between employed subjects and their significant

others. Using ratio analysis, high agreement was found between

subjects and verifiers in both groups. Application of the analysis

of variance design among the independent variables of discrete age

groups, location, and employment status resulted in significant

differences between subjects from the oldest age group and those

from other groups.
















CHAPTER V

DESCRIPTION OF RANDOM SAMPLE


In order to keep in perspective the human element in this study,

a brief descriptive analysis was made of eight of the tested

subjects. The first of the eight was randomly chosen from 40

pieces of paper placed in a bowl, each piece marked with a discrete

number ranging from I to 40. After that number was chosen, it was

matched with the number assigned to the respective subject. The

other subjects were chosen by taking every fifth subject after the

original one until seven had been obtained. Subject variables

appeared fairly representative. Although five of those described

were in their teens or early 20s, half of the group was employed

and an equal ratio unemployed. Also, five of the eight were from

urban areas which roughly corresponded to the composition of the

total subject group. Pseudonyms were given the subjects to protect

their right to confidentiality.

Ben Wilson, who did manual work for the city, agreed to be

tested in Norton after much prodding by his fo-mer GED (General

Educational Development high school equivalency diploma) tutor who

was also a local Association for Retarded Citizens officer. He was

a large man, resemblirg the stereotype one might have of a lumberjack.

His manner was abrupt and he left little doubt that he was uncomfortable











in the classroom situation. However, Ben cooperated fully in the

testing and relaxed somewhat when the "ordeal" was completed.

In conversation he intimated that he was close to passing his GED

test after several near misses. However, his GED tutor countered

in private that Ben had decisively failed each of the subtests and

only irregularly attended the tutoring sessions. In spite of the

fact that Ben is the only married subject being described, his

adult adjustment scores were relatively low on the SPIB. He demon-

strated little understanding of either the difference between

luxuries and necessities for the consumer or the skills involved

in check writing. His married status was reflected in his home

management skills where kitchen-related items were the most deficient.

In the Health Care section one of the questions may have been in-

appropriate in Ben's case. He did not think that three or four

beers would affect one's driving ability. Ben, who is approximately

6'3" in height and weighs in the neighborhood of 240 pounds, may

indeed be little affected by the 3.2% alcohol beer brewed by law in

Kansas. Ben's self-concept appeared to be quite low. He admitted

to poor performance in school as well as aversion to change and self-

doubt. At the time of the testing, he was 31 years of age.

Another subject, tested in Norton but on a different occasion

than Ben, was Bart Stouffer. Bart was presently unemployed, although

he had held various jobs for brief periods of time. He was 27 years

of age and a resident of a group living home. Upon questioning

concerning his employability, both he and his housemother did not

believe he could hold a job. His housemother did not feel that











intelligence was a barrier to Bart's vocational success. Instead,

she blamed lack of work motivation. At the testing session Bart

was dressed casually but had a well-groomed appearance. He behaved

in a friendly, outgoing manner which belied evident skills in social

manipulation. At dinner at the local A & W root beer stand, despite

protests from this researcher and another subject, Bart walked over

to a dining trucker and borrowed a cigarette. Apparently, he often

assumes this medicant role. Although he was garbed appropriately for

the tests, his SPIB score for the Hygiene and Grooming subsection

was easily his lowest. A possible key to his present status of

unemployment was his agreement in the Job Related Behavior subsection

that one should tell customers or visitors about problems with one's

boss. Bart showed a slightly negative self-concept on the SPI.

Although he considered himself self-pitying, unhappy, and fearful,

he felt he possessed the ability to be very self-reliant. This was

not confirmed by the observations at the A & W.

Larry Adams, at 18, was the youngest subject. He was employed

at a college cafeteria and living at home with his family. His

appearance was somewhat disheveled and during the course of the

session he revealed the reason. He and some friends had partied at

one of the friend's houses the night before. The party was a lively

one with much alcoholic consumption (no other drug being admitted to).

Larry had stayed through the night and had come directly to the

Saturday morning testing complete with a hangover. In spite of this,

he was amiable and joked casually. The impression given this

observer was that the physical suffering Larry was no enduring was











more than compensated for by his defacto initiation into the world

of the normal decadent. In fact, he indulged himself in his hang-

over as if it were a Red Badge of Courage. On his SPIB test he

scored uniformly with subtest extremes only five points apart.

Although Larry's mother is a full-blooded American Indian, he

appeared ignorant of rural health care as was evidenced by the fact

that he missed questions concerning protection from snakes and

poisonous berries. Extreme self-reliance was shown in his SPI

responses.

The eldest subject described was Clark Jones. He was a 41 year

old Wichitan who was presently unemployed and living in a group

living home. His physical appearance was that of a man at least a

decade older and he was confined to a wheelchair. Clark was a reticent

test-taker. His demeanor was surly. He did not like to risk an

evaluation. He was bitter, it seemed, at life in general. On the

SPIB his responses were unique in that he marked with huge X's whose

centers only would fit in the allotted boxes. His Self-Perception

Inventory results were surprisingly positive in light of Clark's

projected attitude.

Sam Conrad was 20 years of age, living in Pratt and employed by

that city installing water lines. Arriving on a Friday evening for

testing, he was dressed in dirty overalls and admitted that he came

only because of the promised free meal. During the testing, which

occurred in a dilapidated school building in Pratt, Sam constantly

made inside jokes with another subject. He appeared to bear ill

feelings for being reminded of his intellectual status. He scored










among the highest of all the subjects on both the SPIB and the SPI.

Sam possessed the technical check writing skills but was unsure of

some of the implications of keeping a checking account. On the

Self-Perception Inventory he gave himself all top scores except for

three items. Even on those he ranked himself positively (+1).

Tested in Lawrence was Phil Burns who worked in the same

college cafeteria as did Larry Adams. He was 20 years of age and

lived with his parents. He had still not settled on a designated

name as he alternately signed his test sheets as George (his middle

name) and Phil. On the Saturday he was tested, Phil came in work

overalls as he had been helping his father paint the house. Through-

out the session he was patient, cooperative, and well-mannered. On

the budgeting subtest of the SPIB, Phil missed several items related

to financial considerations of home rental or ownership. This was

probably due to the fact that he had not yet had to set up his own

home situation. In his Job Related Behavior subtest, Phil showed a

strong preference for not rocking the boat when the items concerned

relations with his boss or fellow workers. His SPI results showed a

quite positive self-concept.

The only black in the random sample was Monte Hooks, who was 21

and unemployed when he was tested in Wichita. He was referred by

the placement officer at Kansas Elks Training Center. He lived with

his mother and siblings in a small house near Wichita State University.

Opportunities for part-time employment abound due to proximity to

the University and Monte has held several university jobs in the

past. He is socially active and has an interest in spectator sports.

His personality is pleasant and although he likes loud soul music










and jokes around with his compatriots, his manner is not abrasive.

On the day he was tested, Monte was neatly groomed and carried an

Afro "pic" in his back pocket. He scored high on the SPIB. On

the subtest of Budgeting, Monte missed an item possibly because

of a cultural difference. He agreed that half of what one spends

each month should be for clothes. As nice clothes high a high

priority in his culture and because he did not spend his money

on rental (while living at home), Monte may justifiably spend half

his income on clothes. His self-concept was positive and he assessed

himself as both happy and self-satisfied.

Fred Detweiler was 20 years old, unemployed, and lived in

suburban Wichita with his parents. His family was well-to-do and

responsible for at least one of his job placements. Fred was slender

and lightly built. He was slightly effeminate and very other-directed.

At the time of the testing, he had been fired from at least two

jobs. The first position, as part of a clean up crew in a school

cafeteria, was lost because the duties were too complex for him.

The second job, at his parent's country club as a busboy, was

terminated because he had been too gregarious with patrons and

the other staff and as a result did not accomplish his tasks. Fred's

scores on the SPIB reflected an almost total lack of awareness of

money management. His lowest subtest was that of Job Related

Behavior. His self-concept was in the high range.















CHAPTER VI
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS


The primary purpose of the present study was to investigate

for differences and relationships between employed mentally

retarded males and unemployed mentally retarded males in adult

adjustment skills and self-perception. The secondary purpose of

the present study was to investigate the level of agreement between

employed mentally retarded males and significant others in their

lives regarding the adequacy of their employment and the level of

agreement between unemployed mentally retarded males and significant

others in their lives regarding their employability. Additional

information gathered from the variables of discrete age groupings

and location, as well as employment status, was used to probe into

the variables' possible association with adult adjustment skills and

self-perception.


Summary

Adult adjustment skills and self-concepts were investigated in

employed and unemployed adult mentally retarded males. Adult

adjustment skills were determined through administration of the

Social and Prevocational Information Battery and self-concepts were










determined through the Self-Perception Inventory. In addition,

the employed mentally retarded adults were asked if they felt their

present employment sufficiently tapped their occupational skills.

The unemployed mentally retarded adults were asked if they thought

they were capable of acquiring and maintaining competitive employment.

Significant others were asked the same job adequacy and employability

questions as were the subjects and probability of agreement was

gauged for these questions.

A review of related literature provided information concerning

the following topics: the work ethic in Western society, employment

of mentally handicapped adults, adjust adjustment, adult adjustment

of mentally handicapped individuals, self-perceptions held by mentally

handicapped persons and the perceptions of handicapped persons held

by significant others, and adaptive behavior and self-concept rating

scales. Each topic was summarized at its conclusion.

The population for the study was selected from mentally retarded

men between the ages of 18 and 54 who resided in the State of Kansas.

They were either presently engaged in competitive employment or con-

sidered by significant others to be capable of competitive employ-

ment. Twenty of the subjects were presently competitively employed

and 20 of the subjects were presently unemployed.

During a 57-day period between mid-May and mid-July of 1980,

subjects were administered the Social and Prevocational Information

Battery (Halpern et al., 1975) and the Self-Perception Inventory

(Soares & Soares, 1974). Data from the above listed instruments

were collected and treated with two statistical techniques, i.e.,










one way analysis of variance and a Fisher Exact Test used for small

marginal frequencies. Two primary hypotheses were designed to

determine if there were significant differences and relationships

between adult adjustment scores and self-concept scores of employed

and unemployed mentally retarded men between the ages of 18 and 54.

Two secondary hypotheses were designed to determine the probability

of agreement between subjects and significant others when queried

as to the subjects' adequacy of employment, if employed, or ability

to secure and maintain a competitive job, if unemployed.

Additional data from SPIB and SPI mean scores were accumulated

and analyzed based on the main effects and interactions of three

variables. These variables were membership in discrete age groups,

residence in rural or urban locations, and employment status.

As no significant differences were determined between the mean

SPIB scores of the employed and unemployed subjects, Hypothesis 1 was

not rejected. Therefore it was concluded that competitively employed

mentally retarded males between the ages of 18 and 54 did not differ

from unemployed mentally retarded males, within the same age range

in adult adjustment skills as reflected by the Social and Prevocational

Information Battery.

As no significant differences were determined between the mean

SPI scores of the employed and unemployed subjects, Hypothesis 2

was not rejected. Therefore it was concluded that competitively

employed mentally retarded males between the ages of 18 and 54 did

not differ from unemployed mentally retarded males, within the same

age range, in self-concept as reflected by the Self-Perception Inventory.










With the secondary hypotheses 3 and 4 mixed results were

attained. Hypothesis 3 was rejected, signifying that the occurrence

of agreement of responses between employed subjects and verifiers was

large enough to not have occurred by chance. Hypothesis 4 was not

rejected, signifying that the discordance of agreement of responses

between unemployed subjects and verifiers was too great to have

occurred by chance.

Combining the variables of discrete age groups and location

with employment status, several interesting observations were

obtained with the SPIB subtests and the SPI. On the SPIB subtests

of home management, health care, and hygiene and grooming, urban

employed and unemployed subjects attained nearly identical scores,

while on the same subtests, large discrepancies were found between

rural employed (higher) and unemployed. On the SPI analysis negative

self-concepts of employed males between the ages of 30 and 54 was

discovered.


Conclusions

Conclusions of the present study were made based on statistical

analysis of differences and relationships between employed and unem-

ployed mentally retarded males between the ages of 18 and 54. The

following conclusions were made as to the development of differences

and relationships concerning dependent variables in the present study.

Hypothesis 1 stated that there is no significant difference between

employed mentally retarded adults and unemployed mentally retarded

adults in the area of adult adjustment as determined by a comparison










of their mean scores on the Social and Prevocational Information

Battery. Any differences between the two groups on the mean scores

for the SPIB were attributed to chance and therefore Hypothesis 1

was not rejected.

Hypothesis 2 stated that there is no significant difference

between employed mentally retarded adults and unemployed mentally

retarded adults in the area of self-concept as determined by a compari-

son of their mean scores on the Self-Perception Inventory. Any differ-

ences between the two groups on the mean scores for the SPI were

attributed to chance and therefore Hypothesis 2 was not rejected.

Hypothesis 3 stated that there is no relationship between the

responses of employed mentally retarded adults and significant others

in their lives regarding their adequacy of employment. Based upon

statistical analysis, it was concluded that the occurrence of agreement

of responses was large enough to not have occurred by chance and

therefore Hypothesis 3 was rejected.

Hypothesis 4 stated that there is no relationship between the

responses of unemployed mentally retarded adults and significant others

in their lives regarding their employability. Based upon statistical

analysis, it was concluded that discordance in agreement was too great

to have occurred by chance and therefore Hypothesis 4 was not rejected.

General conclusions were made based on statistical analyses of

data collected on the 40 subjects in this study. It was concluded

that competitively employed mentally retarded males between the ages

of 18 and 54 did not differ from unemployed mentally retarded males,

within the same age range, in adult adjustment skills as reflected










by the Social and Prevocational Information Battery. Although the

mean score of the employed group was greater than the mean score of

the unemployed group, the difference between the means was not large

enough to be significant beyond chance.

These findings give the possible implication that the state of

employment with its attendant learning experiences and responsi-

bilities did not result in improved adult adjustment skills for those

mentally retarded individuals who were employed. An alternate implica-

tion was that retarded men with greater adult adjustment skills opt

for the unemployment rather than the employment status. The assumption

for this implication was that unemployment was the result of choice

and not other variables.

The second general conclusion reached was that competitively

employed mentally retarded males between the ages of 18 and 54 did

not differ from unemployed mentally retarded males, within the same

age range, in self-concept as reflected by the Self-Perception

Inventory. For this instrument, the mean score of the unemployed group

was actually higher than that of the employed group. However, the

difference between the means was not large enough to be significant

beyond chance. These findings give the possible implication that the

status of employment was insufficient to cause a significant increase

in the employed individual's self-concept. An indirect implication

may be that competitive employment is no longer considered the sine

qua non in a male individual's repertoire.

The third general conclusion reached was that the employed

group and their verifiers concurred in their perception of the

adequacy of the former's employment to the extent that significant










doubt could be ruled out. The fact that two of the three employed

individuals who expressed the feeling that their jobs were inadequate

for their skills were in disagreement with their significant others

was offset by the high rate of agreement between those who felt

their jobs adequate and their verifiers.

The fourth general conclusion reached was that there was

significant room for doubting agreement between unemployed indivi-

duals and their verifiers regarding their employability. As in the

third hypothesis, the small number of negative responses were out-

numbered by verifier disagreements. However, the three disagreements

among the positive responses, compared to only one disagreement among

the positive responses in Hypothesis 3, had a critical effect on the

outcome. Yet, a conflicting result showing agreement between subjects

and verifiers on a ratio test, supported the contention that substan-

tial agreement did take place.


Implications


The gathering and analysis of data based on the inherent presence

of the variables of discrete age groups, location, and employment

status yielded several interesting implications using analysis of

variance procedures. For the overall test scores, although no signi-

ficant differences could be discerned for the SPIB at the .05 level,

the interaction between Employment Status and Location was extremely

close at F. = .058. Regardless of the caution this engendered, it

appeared that mentally retarded men who were employed and lived in

rural areas, may have possessed more adult adjustment skills as










measured by the Social and Prevocational Information Battery than

those who were unemployed.

In the analyses of variance performed for each of the SPIB sub-

tests, several conclusions were reached. For the measured skill of

budgeting, rural subjects in the 30-54 age group showed significantly

less aptitude than members of any of the other five Discrete Age--

Location groups. However, as the size of this group (3) was only

half as large as the next smallest group, the question could be

raised concerning this group's right to represent mentally retarded

rural men between the ages of 30 and 54. The subtests of home

management, health care, and hygiene and grooming followed remark-

ably similar patterns in demonstrating significant mean differences

when subjected to analyses of variance. For each of the above sub-

tests urban subjects achieved nearly identical scores when those who

were employed were compared to those who were unemployed. In the same

subtests, the rural employed significantly outdistanced the rural

unemployed in each case. Regarding home management, the speculation

may be made that a mentally retarded man who holds a job, would be

more likely to live independently, either in his parent's household

or by himself than one who is unemployed. Health care may be

indirectly job related as nonretarded coworkers may be inadvertently

used as health care models. Proper hygiene and grooming knowledge

may be directly related to the work world as acceptable appearance

may be a prerequisite to successful job acquisition and maintenance.

Although these tentative conclusions may explain the difference in

these scores between employed and unemployed rural subjects, it does

not explain the discrepancy between employed rural and employed urban