The Role of Educational Attainment in Supported Employment

William R. Waynor, Kenneth J. Gill, Dawn Reinhardt-Wood, Garth S. Nanni, Ni Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Rehabilitation counselors provide vocational services to consumers living with serious mental illness (SMI) who have an estimated rate of workforce participation from 10% to 30%. Services, such as supported employment (SE), have strived to overcome these figures. Yet, people living with SMI are often only qualified for employment within the secondary labor market. Human capital theory offers a useful theoretical framework for employment for persons living with SMI. The Brief Symptom Inventory Global Severity Index (GSI) and educational level were used to predict employment outcomes in a sample which consists of 105 individuals with SMI recruited from five SE programs in the mid-Atlantic region. Logistic regression with the predictors of time in SE, GSI, and educational level achieved was used to predict whether someone became employed within the next 6 months. The variable educational level was a significant predictor of successful employment outcome at the 6-month follow-up, Wald χ2 = 7.6, p =.003. The other two variables were not statistically significant. The current study suggests that it is difficult to ignore an individual’s education when considering his or her future achievement in employment. Furthermore, the findings of this study support utilizing human capital theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalRehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Applied Psychology


  • human capital theory
  • psychiatric rehabilitation
  • supported employment
  • vocational rehabilitation

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