A construct validity study of employment readiness in persons with severe mental illness

Melissa M. Roberts, Carlos W. Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This archival study examined the construct validity of rehabilitation readiness in the employment domain. Rehabilitation readiness in the employment domain is a measure of one's intent to seek employment rather than one's ability to work. A multitrait-multimethod matrix design for construct validation was used to support an inference of construct validity augmented by predictive validity assessments. Participants were 111 unemployed adults with serious psychiatric illnesses newly enrolled in supported employment programs in New Jersey who agreed to participate in the study. Data were collected on demographics, readiness, and symptoms at baseline, as well as on employment activities on a monthly basis for up to 6 months. Participants were enrolled on an ongoing basis, and not all participants reached the 6-month point before the study ended. Two methods of data collection were used: interviewer ratings and client self-report. The resultant pattern of coefficients within the multitrait-multimethod matrix supported an inference of construct validity. Additionally, baseline measures of readiness were found to be related to employment activity and/or job acquisition at 3 and 6 months. An understanding of the factors that influence an individual's willingness to pursue employment may contribute to service providers' effectiveness in helping to resolve the ambivalence that creates barriers to employment and lead to many more people setting and achieving employment goals. Rather than being used to screen out individuals from employment services, readiness assessment should be used to identify which services will be most helpful in moving people toward successful employment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-54
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Rehabilitation


  • Construct validity
  • Employment readiness
  • Readiness assessment


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