INCREASING THE VOCATIONAL MATURITY OF LEARNING-DISABLED ADOLESCENTS

WILLIAM HOWARD URSILLO, Fordham University

Abstract

The problems encountered by learning disabled adolescents in negotiating the tasks of vocational development have begun to receive increased attention in the literature. There have, however, been few studies describing effective interventions for helping this group with their vocational development problems. The purpose of this study was to address this problem by examining the effectiveness of the Adkins Life Skills Program, a comprehensive, multimedia, behaviorally based career development intervention for increasing vocational maturity with adolescents who experience specific learning difficulties.^ A pretest, posttest control group design was utilized with 40 learning disabled adolescents randomly assigned to a treatment (n = 20) or control (n = 20) group. Subjects had recently completed high school, and their mean ages were 19.18 for the males (n = 31) and 19.27 for the females (n = 9). The experimental group participated in three units of the Adkins Life Skills Program while the control group received only the pretest and posttest. Vocational maturity and attitudes toward coping with career development tasks were measured by the Manuele Adult Vocational Maturity Assessment Interview (AVMAI) and the Crites Career Maturity Inventory (CMI): Attitude Scale and Competence Test. Results were analyzed using analysis of covariance.^ Results indicated that the program was successful in increasing the vocational maturity of learning disabled adolescents. Significant differences were observed on five of the eight AVMAI subscales--Orientation to Work, Concern with Choice, Self-Appraisal: Interests and Abilities, Exploring Occupations, and Using Resources; as well as the total scale. Attitudes toward accomplishing the vocational tasks of self-appraisal, occupational exploration, and career choice were also improved as evidenced by significant increases observed on the two attitude scales of the AVMAI. Significant differences were also observed on the Crites Attitude Scale and on two of the five Competence Tests. No relationship was found between intelligence as measured by the WAIS and vocational maturity as measured by the AVMAI. The interview-based AVMAI was found to be the more appropriate instrument for the measurement of vocational maturity, and the intervention was found to be effective in meeting both the learning and counseling needs of learning disabled adolescents. ^

Subject Area

School counseling

Recommended Citation

URSILLO, WILLIAM HOWARD, "INCREASING THE VOCATIONAL MATURITY OF LEARNING-DISABLED ADOLESCENTS" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8725689.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8725689

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