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Patricia Del Rey and Deborah Stewart

An investigation was conducted with mildly mentally retarded subjects to investigate memory and transfer performance on a coincident timing task using 6- to 17-year-olds. Battig’s (1979) methodological and theoretical views on contextual interference were employed. Blocked and random practice schedules were administered during acquisition trials. In addition, a third acquisition group was created, identified as “sequenced,” which was characterized as a type of experimenter imposed strategy. This manipulation represented a practice schedule between blocked and random. The effects of these three practice schedules were investigated regarding their influence on retention and transfer. Support was found in retention for random acquisition and sequencing practice schedules. The use of strategic processes was viewed to have a positive impact on the retention of mentally retarded children and adolescents but the information was not transferable.