Nonverbal communication and mental retardation

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Nonverbal communication and mental retardation

Transcript Of Nonverbal communication and mental retardation

University of Massachusetts Amherst
[email protected] Amherst
Doctoral Dissertations 1896 - February 2014 1-1-1989
Nonverbal communication and mental retardation : comprehension and expression of facial affect among adults with developmental disabilities.
Felicia L. Wilczenski University of Massachusetts Amherst
Follow this and additional works at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations_1 Recommended Citation Wilczenski, Felicia L., "Nonverbal communication and mental retardation : comprehension and expression of facial affect among adults with developmental disabilities." (1989). Doctoral Dissertations 1896 February 2014. 4507. https://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations_1/4507 This Open Access Dissertation is brought to you for free and open access by [email protected] Amherst. It has been accepted for inclusion in Doctoral Dissertations 1896 - February 2014 by an authorized administrator of [email protected] Amherst. For more information, please contact [email protected]

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION AND MENTAL RETARDATION: COMPREHENSION AND EXPRESSION OF FACIAL AFFECT AMONG
ADULTS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
A Dissertation Presented by
FELICIA L. WILCZENSKI
Submitted to the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF EDUCATION February, 1989 School of Education

(c) Copyright by Felicia L. Wilczenski 1989 All Rights Reserved

NCNVERBAL COMMJNICATICN AND MENTAL RETARDATION: OOMPREHENSICM AND EXPRESSION OF FACIAL AFFECT AMONG
ADULTS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
A Dissertation Presented by
Felicia L. Wilczenski
ine A. Baran. Member Patricia Qijdespi e-Silver, Member
fN
/Stanley E . Scarpatij Member ilyn Harinngg--Hidore, Dean
School of Education

ACKNa*JLEDGEMENTS
Many people helped me to complete this project. The insight and advice of my chairperson, Dr. Ronald Fredrickson, has greatly influenced my work as a graduate student. I also want to thank my committee members, Drs. Stanley Scarpati, Patricia Gillespie-Silver, and Jane Baran for their guidance and encouragement throughout this project. Thanks to Dr. Hariharan Swaminathan for his help with the statistical analysis. Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries must be acknowledged for hosting this study. Finally, a special thank you to my family and friends for their interest, understanding, and continual support.
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ABSTRACT MDNVERBAL COMMUNICATION AND MENTAL RETARDATION: COMPREHENSION AND EXPRESSION OF FACIAL AFFECT AMONG
ADULTS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES FEBRUARY, 1989
FELICIA L. WILCZENSKI B.S., M. ED., BOSTON UNIVERSITY
C.A.E.S., BOSTON COLLEGE M.S., ED.D., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS Directed by: Professor Ronald H. Fredrickson
This study investigated the nonverbal affective communication skills of 52 mentally retarded adults as a function of their social competence. The ability to encode and decode posed facial emotional expressions was assessed among a group of peers in a sheltered workshop.
Communication accuracy for facial emotional expressions among the retarded subjects in this sample was similar to the findings reported in other studies involving nonverbal behavioral abilities among nonretarded persons. There was no evidence from self-assessments, peer ratings, or the judgments of nonretarded adults which suggested that retarded individuals express facial affect in an idiosyncratic manner. Across a number of background variables, several correlates of non¬ verbal communication abilities were found for this sample, including: cognitive ability, work supervisor ratings of interpersonal effective¬ ness (awareness and interaction with others), age, and a history of
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psychiatric disorders. A path analysis was used to trace the implications of the relationships among cognitive ability, nonverbal communication abilities, and social skills; nonverbal affective decoding and encoding abilities did not add to the prediction of general social skills over and above that afforded by cognitive ability.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGET'lENTS. ABSTRACT. LIST OF TABLES. LIST OF FIGURES . CHAPTER

Page iv v ix x

I.

INTRODUCTION .

1

Conceptual Definitions of Social Intelligence. .

1

Operational Definitions of Social Intelligence .

2

Components of Social Behavior.

2

Nonverbal Communication of Affect.

3

Social Functions of Nonverbal Behavior .

4

I

Interpreting Facial Affect .

6

Expressing Facial Affect .

9

Nonverbal Social Skills and Mental Retardation .

12

II. NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION AND MENTAL RETARDATION .

14

Social Perception.

14

Facial Affect Recognition and Mental Retardation

15

Summary.

25

Development of Facial Expressiveness .

26

Nonverbal Encoding Skills and Cognitive Ability.

31

Summary.

35

Measurement Issues .

37

Statement of the Problem .

40

Unanswered or Unasked Questions.

41

III. METHOD.

45

Subjects .

45

Procedures .

48

Encoding.

48

Decoding.

50

IV. RESULTS.

53

Gender Differences .

53

Age Differences.■

53

Communication Accuracy . ■

54

Encoding vs. Decoding Skills .

55

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Ratings of Familiar and Independent Judges. Self-Assessments. Nonverbal Communication and Adaptive Functioning ... Correlates of Nonverbal Skills.

V. DISCUSSION

Gender Differences . Age Differences. Communication Accuracy. Encoding and Decoding Skills . Ratings of Familiar and Independent Judges . Self-Assessments. Nonverbal Communication and Adaptive Functioning ... Correlates of Nonverbal Skills . Limitations. Facial Appearance. Implications . Enhancing Nonverbal Communication Skills .
Toward the Future.

APPENDICES

A.

Summary of Studies ,

B.

Consent Forms. . .

C.

Socialization Scale

D.

Practice Item. . .

E.

Statistical Tables

F.

Subject Photos . .

REFERENCE NOTES

REFERENCES

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67 69 69 71 71 73 75
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89 93 100 103 105 118
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CommunicationRetardationAdultsExpressionSkills