ERIC Number: ED051619
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971
Reference Count: N/A
Hansels and Gretels: Studies of Children in Institutions for the Mentally Retarded.
Braginsky, Dorothea D.; Braginsky, Benjamin M.
Data from research with mildly mentally retarded children conducted in state training schools contradicts prevalent conceptions and theories of mental retardation and supports a new way of conceptualizing retardation, in which retardates are not seen as qualitatively different from others nor as defective or less than human organisms. Investigated were retardates' effectiveness in interpersonal manipulation, adaptation to their environment, family background and reasons for institutionalization, and attitudes toward retardation as compared to those of the staff. Results show the retardates to be adept, rational, sensitive, resourceful, and intelligent human beings, able to carry out subtle manipulative strategies, control and exploit their somewhat hostile environment, and maintain their belief that they were not particularly stupid or different even in the face of the staff's opposite views. Children were often institutionalized for reasons of rejection or family disintegration. It is concluded that mental retardation is a sociopolitical rather than psychological construct, stigmatizing victims of social events who are not psychologically different from other persons. Theoretical and treatment implications emphasize need to establish cooperative retreats free from the myth of mental deficiency. (KW)
Descriptors: Attitudes, Exceptional Child Research, Family Characteristics, Institutionalized Persons, Interpersonal Competence, Mental Retardation, Mild Mental Retardation, Psychological Characteristics, Self Concept, Theories
Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 383 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10017 ($6.95)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A