Testing an Integrated Self-Determined Work Motivation Model for People With Disabilities: A Path Analysis

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Objective: Individuals with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty, have more health issues, and be less likely to be employed than their same-aged peers. Although these issues may be attenuated by vocational rehabilitation services, amotivation and ambivalence to employment can limit the readiness of persons with disabilities to engage in these services. Drawing on self-efficacy, self-determination, and stages of change theories, the purpose of this study was to develop and test an integrated self-determined work motivation model for people with disabilities. Method: Participants included 277 people with disabilities recruited through vocational rehabilitation agencies across 8 states. Path analysis was used to evaluate the contribution of functional disability, self-determination, and social efficacy variables in a hypothesized integrated self-determined work motivation model. Model estimations used maximum likelihood estimation and model-data fit was examined using several goodness-of-fit indices. Results: The initial path analysis indicated a less than optimal fit between the model and the observed data. Post hoc model modifications were conducted based on examination of the critical ratios and modification indices and theoretical consideration. The respecified integrated self-determined work motivation model fit the data very well, χ2/df = 1.88, CFI = .99, and RMSEA = 0.056. The R2 for the endogenous variables in the model ranged from .19 to .54. Conclusions: Findings from this study support the integrated self-determined work motivation model in vocational rehabilitation as a useful framework for understanding the relationship among functioning levels, self-determination and self-efficacy factors, vocational rehabilitation engagement, and readiness for employment.

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