Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Gerontology Institute

First Advisor

Ann Pearman - Chair

Second Advisor

Dennis Thompson

Third Advisor

Erin Ruel


Older adults with developmental disabilities often experience similar age-related health changes as their typically developing peers. However, they also face challenges associated with aging with a life-long disability. Because of the changes in life expectancy for people with developmental disabilities, there is a growing need for long-term residential care. The current study examines a sample of 90 counties in the state of Georgia. In addition to descriptive analysis, regression analysis was used to examine bed availability with county type (urban, rural, and metropolitan), age, race, income, education, and disability status as potential predictors. Preliminary analyses revealed that rural counties, on the whole, had more beds available than urban or metropolitan counties. However, these results were partially mediated by the following within county variables: adult disability status, income, older age, and racial makeup of the county.