Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences & Disorders


This study was designed to investigate the effects of a Day Activity Center on the expressive language skills of institutionalized mentally retarded adult females.

Subjects consisted of eighteen institutionalized mentally retarded adult females with a mean age of thirty-six years. Spontaneous language samples were collected from the participating residents following approximately twelve months' involvement in the Day Activity Center. Each subject's language samples were analyzed and scored according to the Developmental Sentence Scoring (DSS) Procedure (Lee, 1974). These were compared to language samples from each of the subjects which were in the speech-language pathologist's clinical records at the Grafton State School. These earlier samples had been obtained prior to the residents' involvement in the Day Activity Center.

The performance of the subjects on the DSS was analyzed using the t-test for two related samples. A significant difference (_p .05) was found between the performance by the subjects on the DSS before being assigned to the DAC and their performance following twelve months of DAC activity.

A significant difference (_p .05) was found on subjects' performance on the main verb and personal pronoun categories and the sentence point. No significant difference was found among the performance by the subjects on the following categories: secondary verbs, indefinite pronouns, negatives, conjunctions, "wh" questions, and interrogative reversals.

Examination of the DSS transcripts for the subjects following their twelve-month involvement in the DAC indicated that 62 percent of the subjects' grammatical expressive language consisted of personal pronouns and main verbs while the remaining 38 percent was divided among the other six categories on the DSS.

It was concluded from the present study that the Day Activity Center yields measurable results in terms of improved expressive language performance.