Substitute decision-making and personal control: Implications for self-determination

Roger J. Stancliffe, Brian H. Abery, Heidi Springborg, Sarah Elkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Levels of personal control exercised by 76 adults with mental retardation were contrasted by substitute decision-making status. Individuals with no guardian or conservator exercised more personal control than did those with a conservator, who exerted more personal control than did participants with a guardian. Similar group differences in self-determination competencies were also observed. When self-determination competencies were controlled statistically, significant group differences in exercise of personal control remained. Restrictive substitute decision-making status, inappropriate to current competencies, may have constrained individuals' levels of personal control. Reviewing substitute decision-making status on a regular basis and limiting or removing guardianship/conservatorship when it is not appropriate, may enhance personal control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-421
Number of pages15
JournalMental Retardation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2000


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