College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Acquisition and Maintenance of Exercise Skills under Normalized Conditions by Adults with Moderate and Severe Mental Retardation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-1990

Publication Title

Mental Retardation

ISSN

0047-6765

Volume

28

Issue/No.

5

Abstract

Three older adults with severe and moderate mental retardation were taught a complete regimen of aerobic-type exercises under conditions that approximated mainstream exercise programs. A treatment package (prompts, contingent praise, and delayed reinforcing activities) was implemented by individual coaches while participants followed the instructions of an exercise leader. Prompts were faded and contingent activities were discontinued following skill acquisition. All participants correctly performed between 63% and 85% of the exercise repetitions during training and between 82% and 95% at a 9-month follow-up. Issues and strategies for achieving integration of persons with mental retardation into mainstream leisure activities were discussed.

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