A comparison of the efficacy of a group versus an individualized "job club" job search training format

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Psychologists have begun to assess the effectiveness of interventions focused on assisting unemployed subjects to find work. One of the most comprehensive of these is the Job Club (i.e., Azrin et al., 1980, 1981), a multi-component treatment package which has proven effective in helping various populations to gain employment.

The present study utilized three treatment groups to assess the efficacy of the group component of the Job Club program. Subjects (N=32), present or former psychiatric patients, were assigned to either a Job Club (group), a Job Bank (individualized Job Club), or a Standard Treatment (control) condition. It was hypothesized that Job Club condition subjects would show the greatest improvements over treatment on self-report measures of job-hunting assertiveness, self-efficacy, anxiety, depression, and hostility, on measures of interview skills, and on job-finding and rehospitalization related outcome measures. The Job Club condition was also predicted to be the most cost-effective. The Standard Treatment group was hypothesized to show the least improvement on the self-report, interview, and outcome measures and to be least cost-effective. It was predicted that Job Bank condition results would be intermediate between those of the other two groups on these measures. Finally, it was hypothesized that attendance at Job Club or Job Bank sessions would correlate positively with job-finding.

Partial support was found for the hypothesis that Job Club subjects would show the greatest improvements in interview behavior. None of the other hypotheses was supported. Possible reasons for the present findings were discussed, including constraints external to the program itself, indicating the importance of a systems analysis approach to interventions such as this. It was concluded that future research should.focus on developing an assessment methodology so that treatment programs appropriate to particular situations may be formulated.