An examination of specific daily living skills deficits in adults with profound intellectual disabilities

Brian C. Belva, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, United States.
Johnny L. Matson


While some researchers have investigated daily living skills deficits in individuals with intellectual disability (ID) as a whole, research on specific daily living skills in a profound ID population is limited. Two hundred and four adults with profound ID residing in two large developmental centers in the southeast portion of the United States were studied. Data were collected on these individuals' daily living skills, utilizing the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS). Three dependent t-tests were conducted comparing the proportion of items endorsed by informants on each of the three subdomains of daily living skills on the VABS (personal, domestic, and community). A significantly larger proportion of Personal Subdomain items were endorsed compared to Domestic or Community Subdomain items. Additionally, participants exhibited a significantly larger proportion of Domestic Skills Subdomain items compared to Community Skills Subdomain items which is consistent with theoretical models suggesting that institutional living may curb broader community skill sets. No gender differences were found in daily living skills. Lastly, individuals between the ages 30 and 39 exhibited significantly more Personal Subdomain skills than individuals who were 60 or older, while participants between the ages 30 and 39 exhibited significantly more Domestic Subdomain skills than individuals between the ages 60 and 69.