Active support, participation and depression

Roger J. Stancliffe, Keith R. McVilly, Gary Radler, Louise Mountford, Paul Tomaszewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Staff training in Active Support is designed to enable direct support staff to increase the engagement and participation of people with intellectual disabilities in a range of daily activities. Method: Residents (n = 41) and staff of nine group homes participated. The effectiveness of Active Support was evaluated with a pre-test:post-test design, using a number of standardized assessments and other questionnaires, with group home staff as informants. These assessments were conducted before Active Support training and an average of 6.5 months later. Results: Following implementation of Active Support residents experienced significant increases in domestic participation and adaptive behaviour. There were significant decreases in internalized challenging behaviour, overall challenging behaviour and depression. There was no significant pre-post change in other forms of challenging behaviour. Conclusions: Our findings confirm and extend previous Active Support research showing that implementation of Active Support is followed by increased resident participation in activities. The significant improvements in adaptive behaviour, challenging behaviour and depression are of particular interest as the present study is among the first to report such effects. The study's limitations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-321
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Active support
  • Adaptive behaviour
  • Adults
  • Challenging behaviour
  • Community living
  • Depression
  • Domestic participation
  • Group home
  • Intellectual disabilities


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