Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




It was the purpose of the present study to explore the feasibility of investigating naturally occurring behavior of mental retardates with an observational technique.

Twelve mentally retarded male subjects, ages sixteen to twenty one, with Adaptive Behavior levels of upper III, were observed for a total of four observational time blocks of fifteen minutes each. From the collected data 105 behavioral events were extracted, and sorted as to their appropriateness or inappropriateness in the behavioral setting. Each subject was assigned scores based on frequency counts of occurrence of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors manifested during his four observational time blocks. Rank correlations and partial correlations were executed comparing these data with indices derived from testing of these subjects with Wechsler intelligence tests and the Experimental Test of Social Inference.

Several meaningful relationships were discerned, and while the conclusions are generally guarded, it is felt the study demonstrated the worth of a direct observational method in the study of symptomatic behavior of mental retardates, and provides implications for further study.


v, 74, iii, 13 leaves ; 28 cm. Bibliography: leaves 52-56.

Note: Appendix I: Manual: A test of social inference (iii, 13 leaves).



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.