The relationships among the presence of options, interest, preference, choice, meaning, purpose, and performance in occupation are central to occupational therapy knowledge. This Study examined whether giving adults with mental disabilities options at the beginning of an art occupation would motivate them to paint more than when not given options. The Sample consisted of 13 men and 9 women; ages ranged from 24 to 76. The subjects were yoked in pairs. One subject from each pair was given a choice of which of five ceramic objects to paint. The second subject was instructed to paint the same type of object that the first subject had chosen. Three days to 1 week later, roles were reversed. The number of times the subject applied the paint to the object after dipping the brush into paint was recorded by the researcher. Each subject was also timed with a stopwatch from the first time paint was applied to the time the subject indicated completion of the activity. The Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test revealed that subjects painted significantly more (Z = 2.9, p < .01) when they had a choice than when they did not have a choice.

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