DALE FLOYD THOMAS, Marquette University


Recent legislative and philosophical changes have demanded increased vocational independence of mentally retarded citizens. At present, vocational rehabilitation professionals have limited resources for assessing the retarded individual's suitability for employment in relation to each person's respective vocational goal. This study attempted to investigate all of the behaviors and traits that the rehabilitation literature indicated were potential predictors of a successful adjustment to work, which in this study were termed vocational adaptivity. This was accomplished by arranging 58 behavior descriptors in such a manner as to form a behavior rating scale. Twelve additional characteristics were also included as background information items. The purpose of this study was to investigate the behaviors and traits of the adult mentally retarded rehabilitation client that can be used to discriminate at a statistically significant level, between those who are potentially employable and those who are not. An analysis of the results of this study indicate that there does appear to be a number of behaviors that can be used to predict the vocational adaptivity of a mentally retarded rehabilitation client prior to job placement. A discriminant analysis of the data generated by this study, indicated that the 58 items in the rating scale could be used to predict beyond the conventional .05 level of significance. When the background information item in regard to participation in a job seeking skills class was added, a significance level of .0058 was attained. Whereas various combinations of the background information items were found to be slightly better predictors of vocational adaptivity than the rating scale and the job seeking skills class item, the latter were behaviors that are potentially controllable and therefore of more interest to the rehabilitation professionals. The results of this study suggest that the vocational adaptivity scale appears to be a useful screening device insofar as helping to identify problem behaviors prior to job placement.

Recommended Citation

THOMAS, DALE FLOYD, "THE CONSTRUCTION AND VALIDATION OF THE VOCATIONAL ADAPTIVITY SCALE" (1983). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI8409285.