Examining a proposed job retention model for adult workers with mental retardation in supported employment

Sandra Lee Fornes, Florida International University


This quantitative study investigated the predictive relationships and interaction between factors such as work-related social behaviors (WRSB), self-determination (SD), person-job congruency (PJC), job performance (JP), job satisfaction (JS), and job retention (JR). A convenience sample of 100 working adults with MR were selected from supported employment agencies. Data were collected using a survey test battery of standardized instruments. The hypotheses were analyzed using three multiple regression analyses to identify significant relationships. Beta weights and hierarchical regression analysis determined the percentage of the predictor variables contribution to the total variance of the criterion variables, JR, JP, and JS. The findings highlight the importance of self-determination skills in predicting job retention, satisfaction, and performance for employees with MR. Consistent with the literature and hypothesized model, there was a predictive relationship between SD, JS and JR. Furthermore, SD and PJC were predictors of JP. SD and JR were predictors of JS. Interestingly, the results indicated no significant relationship between JR and JP, or between JP and JS, or between PJC and JS. This suggests that there is a limited fit between the hypothesized model and the study's findings. However, the theoretical contribution made by this study is that self-determination is a particularly relevant predictor of important work outcomes including JR, JP, and JS. This finding is consistent with Deci's (1992) Self-Determination Theory and Wehmeyer's (1996) argument that SD skills in individuals with disabilities have important consequences for the success in transitioning from school to adult and work life. This study provides job retention strategies that offer rehabilitation and HR professionals a useful structure for understanding and implementing job retention interventions for people with MR. The study concluded that workers with mental retardation who had more self-determination skills were employed longer, more satisfied, and better performers on the job. Also, individuals whose jobs were matched to their interests and abilities (person-job congruency) were better at self-determination skills.

Subject Area

Adult education|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Fornes, Sandra Lee, "Examining a proposed job retention model for adult workers with mental retardation in supported employment" (2007). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3298581.