The present paper reports on two studies which were designed to assess specific interpersonal situations and behaviors which interfere with a mentally retarded individual's adjustment to a vocational setting. In the first study, lists of problematic interpersonal situations and problematic behaviors were generated based on (a) interviews with prevocational teachers, school personnel, and work supervisors in a sheltered workshop setting, and (b) behavioral observations of workers in prevocational classes and a workshop setting. The list of problematic behaviors was further evaluated by work supervisors to determine the frequency and seriousness of each behavior. This information provided a basis for establishing training priorities in an interpersonal skills training program for mentally retarded individuals. In a second study, problem behavior ratings were obtained from prevocational teachers and residential supervisors for 40 mentally retarded individuals. Teachers additionally rated each individual using several standardized assessment scales (Behavior Problem Checklist, AAMD Adaptive Behavior Scale, Vocational Competency Scale). After placement in a sheltered workshop setting, problem behavior ratings were obtained from work supervisors for each individual, and the length of successful employment was assessed. Intercorrelations among measures and across raters provided initial support for the validity and reliability of the problem behavior list. Implications for future research and training on interpersonal-vocational skills are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health