Evaluating the quality of training delivered by direct‐care staff in a state mental retardation center

Rodney E. Realon*, Andrew J. Wheeler, Bonnie Spring, Michael Springer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluated a center‐wide training system in a state‐operated mental retardation center. Staff performance was assessed under varying conditions with collateral measures collected on resident behavior. The quality of training delivered by direct‐care staff was measured following the completion of an inservice training program and when individual feedback and praise were available or a group contingency where feedback, praise, and money were available. Inservice training was not found to be sufficient to maintain staff training skills. Providing feedback and praise had mixed results in maintaining staff behavior. A group contingency using feedback, praise, and money was found to be immediately effective in improving and maintaining staff behavior. Collateral measures on student behavior were also provided that indicated that consistent, quality training by staff resulted in increased student skill acquisition. These results are discussed within the framework of conducting research in applied settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-212
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Interventions
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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