Year of Publication


Document Type





Educational and Counseling Psych

First Advisor

H. Thompson Prout


Quality of life is a phrase that most people are familiar with, regardless of whether or not they can define it. Much research has been conducted across disciplines in an effort to explain the construct. As human service programs become more focused on outcomes, there is greater interest in measuring quality of life as an indicator of service quality and success. This study was designed to test whether or not quality of life differences exist between adults with developmental disabilities and the general population at an item, scale, and composite level. The quality of life dimensions that were tested included items related to well-being, community participation, access to services and human rights, and choice and decision-making. Differences were found in well-being and decision-making. Differences were also present in certain access items. The two groups also differed in overall quality of life with those with developmental disabilities having lower quality of life. A logistic regression model that was comprised of the life dimensions differentiated between the two groups with over 90% accuracy. Overall results indicate that adults with developmental disabilities are at a significant disadvantage with regard to quality of life in comparison with the general population.