Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Alyce M. Dickinson

Second Advisor

Dr. Jessica Frieder

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Peterson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Baker


Human services, staff management, group homes, performance feedback, incentives, engagement


A multi-component staff management system was implemented in three residential group homes for adults with disabilities to examine if it would increase consumer (resident) engagement in leisure activities. The design was a non-concurrent and concurrent multiple baseline design across homes. Participants included consumers who lived in the homes and the direct care staff (DCS) who worked with them: a total of 35 participants. Sessions were an hour in length and occurred twice a day, Monday through Friday. The study lasted approximately 17 weeks in each group home.

There were four phases: (phase A) baseline assessment of consumer engagement and affect, (phase A’) supervisor walk-arounds and continued assessment of consumer engagement and affect, (phase B) implementation of the staff management system with a consumer check-in and choice procedure as its foundation, and (phase C) addition of more individualized, immediate DCS feedback from their supervisors. Dependent variables included consumer engagement, consumer affect, and the number of different activities chosen by consumers. Treatment integrity data were collected to assess the fidelity of program implementation by DCS and supervisors.

The staff management system increased consumer engagement and positive affect in all three homes during phase B. In phase C, addition of supervisor feedback increased staff’s correct implementation of the procedures, but that was not accompanied by meaningful increases in consumer engagement. However, confounds in all three homes during phase C precluded conclusions about the effects of the supervisory feedback. Treatment integrity measures revealed that supervisor implementation was variable across homes.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access