Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Rebecca Taylor

Second Advisor

Beth Patrick-Trippel

Third Advisor

Houston Thompson

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery


This study was an attempt to understand the presence and impact of staff expectancies related to psychotropic medication reductions conducted with persons diagnosed with mental retardation. Within a state operated developmental center in the Midwest, results indicated that direct support staff overwhelmingly expected individuals to get worse following such a reduction. These expectancies significantly impacted data recording practice leading to discrepant elevations reported by staff expecting deterioration. Finally, while written communication about planned psychotropic medication reductions did not appear to elevate data recording as was hypothesized, reductions were associated with increases in both behaviors and psychiatric symptoms. This study has implications for the treatment integrity of pharmacological interventions used with persons diagnosed with mental retardation.


Ed.D. dissertation completed in 2010 for Olivet Nazarene University.