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People with mental disabilities


The deinstitutionalization movement has made a significant impact on the lives of mentally retarded people. Deinstitutionalization provides the necessary environmental changes for mentally retarded people who have been forced to spend their prior years in institutions These environmental changes are widely regarded as having beneficial effects. However, little research has been done to assess whether the "community residence" is actually an environment of growth or even the environment of choice for the mentally retarded person. The purpose of this study was to explore the self-images of mentally retarded persons living in institutional and non institutional environments and attitudes toward retardation held by caretakers in those environments. It was expected that there would be some relationship between self-concept and current living environment, and that the relationship would be consistent with differences observed in caretaker attitudes.