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A career redirection program for unemployed physically disabled workers Harder, Henry G.


This study investigated the effect of participation in a 14-day career redirection program on the reemployment, explanations for unemployment, and levels of depression and self-esteem of 44 unemployed adults who had recently become physically disabled. The career redirection program was delivered using an extended Solomon four-group design. The subjects’ explanations for their unemployment, and their levels of depression and self-esteem were measured on at least two of four possible occasions: (a) before participating in the program, (b) after completing the program, (c) after waiting to participate in the program, or (d) eight weeks after completing the program. The researcher contacted the subjects who completed the program after eight weeks to determine their employment status and to request the completion of the final questionnaire battery. A random sample of the subjects who finished the program were also interviewed in-depth to obtain detailed information about their experiences of: (a) becoming disabled, (b) being confronted with the need to change jobs as a result of their disabilities, and (c) participating in the career redirection program. All the incidents reported by the subjects that related to their emotional reactions to these three experiences were identified from transcripts of the interviews. Incidents describing similar reactions to components of these experiences were grouped into categories. Six stages were discerned from the analysis of the categories of emotional reactions. Taken together, these six stages described a career redirection process. The results of the study demonstrated the effectiveness of the treatment program in assisting the subjects through the career redirection process. Eight weeks after finishing the program, 60.5% of the subjects were involved in reemployment activities (11.6% working; 28% independent in job search; 20.9% taking training). Contrary to the researcher’s expectations, the subjects did not exhibit the effects of long-term unemployment documented in the literature, possibly because they....

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