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Personal agency in employment groups Ross, Stanley A.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the utility of viewing employment group programs as processes of enhancing personal agency. Personal causation theory (deCharms, 1976) was used to operationalize the concept of personal agency. Two questions were investigated. First, does personal agency increase in individuals after participating in employment groups? Second, how do the outcomes derived from employment groups compare to deCharms' conditions for developing personal agency? Twenty-seven unemployed or underemployed participants from three different programs were interviewed to elicit anecdotal stories from their experience before and after the program, and to collect helpful and hindering factors using the Critical Incident Technique. The Origin Scoring System was used to rate the stories yielding pre- and post-program scores for each participant. A 2-factor analysis of variance with repeated measures revealed a strong treatment effect (p

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