Counselor Expectation Effects on Disability Referrals
Childers, Ralph L.
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The problem. Client cases referred to vocational rehabilitation from Social Security Disability Determination Services are found eligible at a much lower rate than cases from other referral sources. This might be due to a negative attitude of vocational rehabilitation counselors toward referrals from this source. An increase in the proportion of the referrals that are found eligible is attempted by using the Pygmalion effect. Procedure. A rating of 1-High, 2-Medium, or 3-Low on Rehabilitation Potential was randomly assigned to all new DDS referrals to vocational rehabilitation made between September 1, 1981, and September 23, 1981. A total of 160 cases were assigned to the study. Computer available data about each case was collected to determine the outcome of each case, closed before eligibility or made eligible for services. A multi-sample Chi Square was used to compare assigned Rehabilitation Potential ratings with the outcomes. The statistical procedure was run a second time on just those referrals which were formally opened, due to the large number that were not processed to that point. Findings. Two Chi Squares were used. The first used all 152 client cases assigned to the study. The null hypothesis, that there will be no difference in the proportion of client cases assigned a rehabilitation potential rating of high, medium, or low, which are found eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, was retained. The second Chi Square used only the sixty-two client cases which were formally opened. The same null hypothesis was tested and retained. Both Chi Squares used a .05 level of significance. Conclusions. This study failed to show any effect of the expectancy. This is not in line with most expectancy studies and my indicate the influence of administrative personnel on the thinking and action of the counselors. The already present negative attitude toward DDS referrals is also a possible cause. Further study is indicated.
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