PREVALENCE OF EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE IN MENTALLY RETARDED ADULTS
The existence of emotional disturbance within the mentally retarded population has been well documented. Research reporting its prevalence appears to vary with regard to standardization of diagnostic criteria and populations from which the subjects were selected. The Psychopathology Instrument for Mentally Retarded Adults (PIMRA; Inventory of General Psychopathology) was used to provide a consistent measure of emotional disturbance across adult subjects matched with a community-based population demographics (level of retardation, living environment). The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence of emotional disturbance within a community-based mentally retarded adult population. In addition, level of retardation and living environment were analyzed to determine if a preponderance of emotional disturbance was associated with either of these variables. One hundred sixty-five subjects (110 male, 55 female) were selected from a population of 347 (47.5%). Subject selection was stratified according to previously documented level of retardation and living environment. Within these variables random selection occurred. Informants familiar with each subject's behavior completed a Psychopathology Instrument for Mentally Retarded Adults. Based upon the reported behavior, a determination of emotional disturbance was made. Within a randomly selected sample, interinformant reliability studies were conducted. The obtained data were analyzed using descriptive statistics comprised of frequency counts and chi squares. The present study gathered preliminary data regarding the prevalence of emotional disturbance in the mentally retarded population. The results revealed 36.9 percent of those assessed as being emotionally disturbed. The preponderance of emotional disturbance was associated with the level of retardation. Interinformant reliability in both the determination of emotional disturbance and in the subscales was quite high. Implications and areas for future consideration were addressed.
JOHN CHARLES IVERSON,
"PREVALENCE OF EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE IN MENTALLY RETARDED ADULTS"
(January 1, 1987).
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