Effects of a multifaceted staff management program on the engagement of adults with developmental disabilities in community-based settings

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Organizational behavior management, Staff management, Engagement, Developmental disabilities, Community-based

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Engaging individuals with developmental disabilities in purposeful activities (i.e., task engagement) is important for the promotion of adaptive living skills, independent functioning, and community inclusion. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a multifaceted staff management program on resident engagement and staff-resident interactions at two community-based residences for adults with developmental disabilities. Following an initial baseline phase, three different program components (activity schedules, goal setting and posted feedback, reinforcement) were sequentially added and then withdrawn at each residence using an A/B/B+C/B+C+D/B+C/B/A interaction design with a reversal. Observational data indicated a gradual increase and subsequent decrease in mean levels of resident engagement and staff-resident interactions across sites. Mean resident engagement and staff-resident interactions were maintained at levels well above baseline at 6-week follow-up, and staff rated the participative components of the program as acceptable. Implications for staff training and management to promote long-term improvements in engaged time of individuals with developmental disabilities are discussed.