Institution-oriented and resident-oriented care practices for institutionalized retarded persons investigated in 166 Living units in 19 institutions in the United States and 11 institutions in a Scandinavian country. Living units in the Scandinavian country were found to be more resident-oriented than those in the United States. Large central institutions were characterized by the most institution-oriented care practices, group homes by the most resident-oriented practices, with large and small regional centers falling between these extremes. Within types of institution, care practices were generally homogeneous. Living units for more severely retarded residents were characterized by more institution-oriented practices. Large living-unit size was found to be predictive of institution-oriented practices while cost/resident/day, number of aides/resident, and number of professional staff/resident did not predict care practices. Characteristics of the Child Management Inventory were also examined.