Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
This entry discusses historic and current definitions of adaptive behavior, the importance of understanding its contextual nature, and typical and current applied uses of adaptive behavior information. The prevailing belief that adaptive behavior can be best understood by examining reciprocal relationships between an individual and his or her environment is consistent with principles fundamental to applied developmental science. The construct of adaptive behavior has a multifactor structure. Historically, it was thought to include qualities associated with personal independence (e.g., what people do to take care of themselves) and social responsibility (e.g., how people relate to and assist others) (American Association on Mental Retardation [AAMR], 1992, 2002; Grossman, 1983). In 1992, AAMR specified 10 skill areas that compose adaptive behavior in an effort to define and measure adaptive behavior more precisely: communication, community use, functional academics, home/school living, health and safety, leisure, self-care, self-direction, social behavior, and work. The Diagnostic and ...