Attitudes of direct-care workers at a residential facility

  • David M. Rice
  • Marvin Rosen
  • Gregg M. Macmann


A self-administered questionnaire was developed to examine two dimensions of staff attitudes: (a) the perceived importance of skills that direct-care workers who are asked to teach their clients, and (b) staff expectations that clients will show improvement in these areas. The relationship between importance/ expectancy ratings and self-reported teaching activity was studied in a sample of 32 direct-care workers at a residential facility for adults with developmental disabilities. In general, direct-care workers reported that they were most frequently engaged in escorting clients, watching and teaching clients during recreational activities, and dealing with client's emotional/behavioral outbursts. Improtance/expectancy ratings were correlated significantly with the education level of respondents, but not with self-reported teaching activity.

Key Words

staff attitudes direct care workers attitude questionnaire job expectancy 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bandura, A. (1986).Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social-Cognitive Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  2. Bruininks, R. H., Kudla, M. J., Weick, C. A., and Hauber, F. A. (1980). Management problems in community residential facilities.Mental Retardation, 18, 125–130.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Cleland, C. C., and Peck, R. F. (1967). Intra-institutional administrative problems: A paradigm for employee stimulation.Mental Retardation 5, 2–8.Google Scholar
  4. Cohen, J. (1988).Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (second edition), Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  5. Eyman, R. K., and Borthwick, S. A. (1980). Patterns of care for mentally retarded persons.Mental Retardation, 18, 63–66.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Gibson, S., and Dembo, M. H. (1984).Teacher efficacy: A construct validation.Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 569–582.Google Scholar
  7. Kauffman, J. M., Lloyd, J. W., and McGee, K. A. (1989). Adaptive and maladaptive behavior: Teachers' attitudes and their technical assistance needs.The Journal of Special Education, 23, 185–200.Google Scholar
  8. Lakin, K. C., Bruininks, R. H., Hill, B. K., and Hauber, F. A. (1982). Turnover of direct-care staff in a national sample of residential facilities for mentally retarded people.American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 87, 64–72.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Parsons, M. B., Cash, V. B., and Reid, D. H. (1989). Improving residential treatment services: Implementation and norm-referenced evaluation of a comprehensive management system.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 22, 143–156.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Reid, D. H., and Whitman, T. L. (1983). Behavioral staff management in institutions: A critical review of effectiveness and acceptability.Analysis and Intervention in Developmental Disabilities, 3, 131–149.Google Scholar
  11. Safran, S. P., Safran, J. S., and Barcikowski, R. S. (1988). Assessing teacher manageability: A factor analytic approach.Behavioral Disorders, 13, 245–252.Google Scholar
  12. Scheerenberger, R. C. (1970). Generic services for the mentally retarded and their families.Mental Retardation, 8, 10–16.Google Scholar
  13. Scheerenberger, R. C. (1982). Public residential services, 1981: Status and trends.Mental Retardation, 20, 210–215.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Slater, M. A., and Bunyard, P. D. (1983). Survey of residential staff roles, responsibilities, and perception of resident needs.Mental Retardation,21, 52–58.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Thaw, J. and Wolfe, S. F. (1986). The direct-care workers: A socio-cultural analysis. In J. Thaw and A. Cuvo (Eds.),Developing Responsive Human Services: New Perspectives About Residential Treatment Organizations (pp. 83–147). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  16. Walbran, B. B., and Hile, M. G. (1988). Observing staff-resident interactions: Methodological considerations.Mental Retardation, 26, 161–165.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Walker, H. M. (1985).Teacher Social Behavior Standards and Expectations as Determinants of Classroom Ecology, Teacher Behavior and Child Outcomes. Unpublished manuscript, University of Oregon, Division of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Eugene.Google Scholar
  18. Zlomke, L. C., and Benjamin, V. A. Jr. (1983). Staff inservice: Measuring effectiveness through client behavior change.Education and Training of the Mentally Retarded, 18, 125–130.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Rice
    • 1
  • Marvin Rosen
    • 1
  • Gregg M. Macmann
    • 1
  1. 1.The Devereux FoundationDevon

Personalised recommendations