Concurrent correlates of job success for workers with the developmentally disabled in a New Jersey state facility

Loren Barbara Amsell, University of Pennsylvania


Statement of problem. There exists a high turn-over rate of Resident Living Staff (RLS) at a state Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) for the developmentally disabled (mentally retarded) in New Jersey. This state facility hires individuals based on scores on the civil service examination test and review of previous employment. However, this method of selection appears problematic, and it needs to be refined and updated. The current method of assessing performance in this position is a Performance Assessment Review (PAR) which has a low range of variability and is not behavior-specific. Since these individuals work directly with the mentally retarded, it is important to determine which characteristics best identify a successful candidate for such a position.^ Procedure and methods. This project was designed to determine which characteristics best indicate a successful resident living staff for work with the developmentally disabled. All data was obtained at an ICF facility in New Jersey. The statistical design of this project was correlational. Seventy-one subjects participated in this study. Each subject completed two self-report questionnaires, provided demographic information, and gave consent for the researcher to obtain previous performance and civil service test scores from the personnel office. Subjects also consented to allowing their immediate supervisor to complete a performance questionnaire which comprised a set of behaviorally anchored rating scales to assess job performance. All variables were analyzed to decide those factors which characterize a successful RLS employee as measured by a behaviorally-anchored rating scale created by the researcher.^ Results. Significant correlations of the total of behaviorally-anchored rating scales with months of employment, high general activity level, high responsibility, and high sociability were found. There was no correlation between the civil service exam score and the total score for the behaviorally anchored rating scale. A correlation was found between the PAR and the total score on the behaviorally anchored rating scale. Due to the high skewness of the PAR variable, this information was difficult to interpret.^ Conclusions. This project involved a concurrent analysis of factors that predict success of direct care staff for work with the developmentally disabled. This type of research continues to be of use for hiring and promotion decisions. A predictive validity study should now be undertaken to check the findings of this concurrent validation. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Mental Health|Psychology, Industrial|Psychology, Psychometrics

Recommended Citation

Amsell, Loren Barbara, "Concurrent correlates of job success for workers with the developmentally disabled in a New Jersey state facility" (1990). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9026513.