Although gainful employment is associated with health and well-being, people with chronic illness and disability may be ambivalent about the prospects of working. As a result, those who might benefit from vocational rehabilitation (VR) services do not always fully engage in those services. Limited motivation toward participating may be due to factors related to self-determination and autonomous choice. Rehabilitation counseling researchers are beginning to test Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory (SDT), along with Bandura’s self-efficacy theory (SET), as a work motivation model in VR. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate SDT and SET constructs as predictors of VR engagement in a sample of VR clients, using hierarchical regression analysis. After controlling for the effects of demographic variables and person–environment (P-E) contextual factors, SDT and SET predictors were found to account for an increase of 40% in the variance explained in VR engagement. Working alliance was the single strongest predictor of VR engagement, followed by job performance self-efficacy and autonomy supportive climate. Interventions to enhance counselor skills to promote working alliance, in addition to vocational training to increase job performance self-efficacy of rehabilitation clients, may strengthen motivation to engage in VR services, leading to better employment outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health