Mississippi Families' Perceptions of Two Types of Residential Services For Their Family Members With Mental Retardation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Johnny Purvis

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling


The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in Mississippi families' perceptions of two types of residential services for individuals with mental retardation. These individuals with mental retardation previously resided in a state institution and currently reside in a community-based group home. The subjects of this study were family members having a relative residing in a community-based group home operated by Boswell Regional Center, Ellisville State School, Hudspeth Center, North Mississippi Regional Center or South Mississippi Regional Center. Subjects were mailed the 1996-97 Coffelt Family Survey. Data from this survey was analyzed to determine the differences in families' perceptions of their relative's quality of life at the state institution as compared to the community-based group home. Demographic variables of the subjects were also analyzed to determine differences in perceptions. The findings of this study did support that community-based group home placement mean scores were significantly higher than the institutional placement mean scores. The family members perceived the community-based group home as providing a better quality of life for their relative than that of the institution. Overall, the findings supported that the demographic variables do significantly predict the difference in the relative with mental retardation's relationship with friends and food. The study also found that the older the relative with mental retardation, the lower the family member perceived their relative's relationship with family, friends and treatment by staff/attendants in the community-based group home.