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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Changing behaviour patterns of disadvantaged unemployed youth through an intervention strategy using computer-based training techniques Long, Frances Jackia


This thesis is concerned with changing behaviour patterns of a number of unemployed disadvantaged youth associated with an intervention strategy called Career Start. Career Start uses computer-based technology in its instructional program, which attempts to address simultaneously three significant barriers to youth employment. These barriers are grade level attainment, low self-esteem, and destructive attitudes towards work. The participants in Career Start numbered 169 youths between the ages of 15 and 24. All had been classified as severely employment disadvantaged by the classification methods of Employment and Immigration Canada. The youths were interviewed to ascertain specific background characteristics and the reasons why they were unemployed. They were also tested before and after participation in the program to determine whether or not barriers to employment had been reduced. There was some evidence of improvement in academic scores, primarily in the language and mathematics areas. In addition, there was a reduction in the barriers to employment as measured by the Vocational Opinion Index. The Culture Free Self-Esteem Index also showed that the self-esteem of the participants was raised after participation in the program. The employment objectives of Employment and Immigration Canada were also taken into consideration during the study. During the first year the objectives were exceeded by 36 percent of the subjects and, during the first nine-month period of the second year, the objectives were again exceeded. Data were statistically analyzed using the Chi-square Test for Independence, the Non Parametric Sign Test, cross-tabulations, and frequency tables. The study indicated that Career Start had the potential to be a successful intervention strategy in addressing the problems of unemployed and disadvantaged youth. The research also generated a number of related issues in need of further study.

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