• Johnny L. Matson
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


The field of mental retardation has been a central area for research and clinical practice for behavior modifiers and therapists. Much of the early application of learning principles has focused on this population, and much of what we know and do springs from the research with this group. Such procedures as the token economy, overcorrection, a good deal of the self-control and regulation literature, and many of the early differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) studies are among those that have emerged from this research. It should also be noted that behavior modification therapy has become the dominant mode of treatment for mentally retarded persons. As recently as the early 1960s, people who evinced mental retardation were all too often considered untreatable. The state of affairs then is a far cry from current research and practice, which is highly optimistic with respect to these handicapped persons. We now know that, with the proper training, these individuals have the potential to learn not only how to dress themselves but also to achieve toileting, dining, computer computation, shopping, vocational, and pedestrian skills, plus a host of other equally important behaviors that will allow them to live in a more normalized environment.


Mental Retardation Emotional Problem Conduct Disorder Dual Diagnosis Handicapped Individual 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johnny L. Matson

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