Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Rehabilitation

First Advisor

Crimando, William

Abstract

With psychiatric disabilities representing a large number of transition-age youth in the US and low employment rates for individuals with disabilities in general, it is necessary to identify the patterns of service variables that are more likely to lead to a competitive employment outcome for this population. This study was an investigation of the vocational rehabilitation case service variables provided through the federal-state vocational rehabilitation system to transition-age consumers with psychiatric disabilities. The identified variables were then studied to determine relationships that exist as they pertain to employment outcomes. The population of vocational rehabilitation consumers was accessed using the Rehabilitation Services Administration 911 database for fiscal year 2007. The database was analyzed using a series of cluster analyses to determine patterns of services associated with competitively employed or unemployment outcomes for this population. A total of 5744 cases were analyzed in this study. The results indicated that there were three distinct clusters of vocational rehabilitation services delivered to this population: Basic services, Job Focused, and College Plus. The results also showed that employment status at application, medical insurance at closure, Job Focused Cluster, and race - African American were significant predictors of rehabilitation outcome. Significant predictors of yearly earnings at closure were employment status at application, medical insurance at closure, Basic Services Cluster, and Job Focused Cluster. The Hispanic race was not found to be a significant predictor in this study. Implications, suggestions for future research, and limitations of the study are discussed.

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