Relationship of rehabilitation counselors' ethnicity match and cultural competency to service provision and employment outcome for vocational rehabilitation consumers




Jorgensen-Wagers, Kendra Lara

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The purpose of this dissertation is to explore whether rehabilitation counselor/consumer racial similarity is related to rehabilitation services provided and employment outcomes achieved. This research contributes additional information to the research base on how to educate and train practicing vocational rehabilitation counselors to support culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) consumers more effectively. Information regarding racial dyads may help to articulate whether CLD counselors are more effective with CLD consumers. Utilizing the RSA-911 data file submitted by California for fiscal year 2006 as well as 189 Multicultural Counseling Inventory (MCI) surveys collected on practicing vocational rehabilitation counselors, ANOVA, MANOVA, ANCOVA and chi-square analysis were used to measure relationships among counselor and consumer dyads that were either similar or dissimilar in ethnicity and case service variables and outcome variables. Additional analysis focused on the influence of high versus low cultural competency of rehabilitation counselors and the same consumer case service and outcome variables. Study results revealed statistically significant differences on MCI total scores between counselor ethnic groups, with Hispanic counselors demonstrating the highest mean scores overall on the MCI. In addition, significant differences existed between counselor ethnic groups on MCI total scores, as well as all four subscale scores. Chi-square was used to investigate the effect of counselor ethnicity and cultural competency scores on the case service variables of job search, rehabilitation technology, maintenance and college training, as well as outcome variables of competitive employment. MANOVA and ANCOVA were used for the continuous outcome variables of cost of services, wages at closure and weekly earnings at closure. Significant chi-square results were found for some of the service and outcome variables for both the matched counselor/consumer dyads and the counselor competency score groups. More significant findings existed in the ANCOVA analysis for cultural competency scores than for matched ethnicity groups. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.



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