Date of Award

Summer 1980

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Michele Darby

Committee Member

Deanne Allen

Committee Member

Lindsay Rettie


A growing awareness of the rights of institutionalized persons to receive comprehensive health care, including dentistry, has led to increased legislation in favor of handicapped individuals including the mentally retarded. Mentally retarded persons have a right to adequate health care, education, training rehabilitiation, and guidance that will enable them to develop their ability and maximum potential.

Mental retardation has in the past been defined as a condition that exists solely within an individual; more recent definitions have shifted to include "a condition that is an interaction between an individual and a particular environment. The environment in which a mentally retarded person resides greatly influences his/her ability to reach maximum developmental potential. For example, living in home-like settings provides retarded persons the opportunity to develop adaptive behaviors. The realization of the significance of environmental stimuli on development has led to the trend of "mainstreaming" of many mentally retarded citizens. Mainstreaming involves the relocation of some institutionalized mentally retarded individuals into the community with their family or in a home-like setting to facilitate their development. In the case of severely retarded residents, the institutions are trying to provide a home-like environment within the institution.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).