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Issue Date: July 01, 2015
Published Online: February 09, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2020
Latent Parallel Analysis and Ordinal Exploratory Factor Analysis of the Vocational Fit Assessment
Author Affiliations
  • The Ohio State University
  • The Ohio State University
  • The Ohio State University
  • The Ohio State University
Article Information
Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Assessment/Measurement
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
Latent Parallel Analysis and Ordinal Exploratory Factor Analysis of the Vocational Fit Assessment
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911500106. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO5092
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911500106. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO5092
Abstract

Date Presented 4/17/2015

The unidimensional structure of Vocational Fit Assessment (VFA) subscales and estimates of internal consistency lend initial evidence in support of reliability and validity. Using the VFA in the field has the potential to improve postsecondary employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

SIGNIFICANCE: The Vocational Fit Assessment (VFA) provides a reliable and valid tool that is capable of informing job-matching decisions by assessing both individual abilities and job demands. This is the first person–environment–occupation (PEO) model assessment of vocational performance available to professionals in the fields of special education and vocational rehabilitation. Current job matching assessments are limited and have failed to improve employment outcomes. The VFA was developed to assess both individual abilities and job demands and to inform job-matching decisions in a systematic and reliable way.
APPROACH: The purpose of this study was to determine the factor structure of VFA items and to obtain estimates of subscale reliability. Individuals with disabilities experience decreased employment, socioeconomic status, health, and quality of life as compared to those without disabilities. This is especially true for the population of individuals living with intellectual disabilities. Most services for this group fail to facilitate a successful transition from school to integrated, community employment. Job matching is the collaborative, data-based, decision-making process used by transition teams to determine the best fit between an individual’s abilities and preferences and the job’s environmental and occupational demands. The VFA was developed in an effort to provide a systematic tool for informing job-matching decisions made with, or on behalf of, individuals with disabilities.
METHOD: This prospective cross-sectional study utilized two (one for worker abilities; one for job demands) electronically administered surveys to collect data for the psychometric evaluation of the VFA. Respondents—who were professional key stakeholders (e.g., teachers, job coachers) involved in the job-matching process—used the VFA to assess workers or jobs. Analyses took place at a major, Midwestern research university.
The VFA is a 126-item instrument designed to assess individual (i.e., worker) abilities (3-point ordinal scale: 2 = high ability, 1 = some ability, 0 = low ability) and job demands (3-point ordinal scale: 2 = high demand, 1 = some demand, 0 = low demand). Demographic and descriptive data were also collected. Data were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics. Latent parallel analysis and ordinal exploratory factor analysis were used to analyze and iteratively refine VFA subscales. Subscale reliabilities were estimated using ordinal regression.
RESULTS: A total of 10 unidimensional subscales emerged from the factor analysis of VFA items: (1) Cognitive Abilities, (2) Communication Skills, (3) Computer Skills, (4) Higher Task-Related Abilities, (5) Interpersonal Skills, (6) Lower Task-Related Abilities, (7) Physical Abilities, (8) Safety, (9) Self-Determination, and (10) Work Structure. Subscale internal consistency (ordinal) was 0.864 for assessment of worker abilities (VFA–W) and was 0.634 for assessment of job demands (VFA–J).
CONCLUSION: The unidimensional structure of VFA subscales and estimates of internal consistency lend initial evidence in support of the reliability and validity of the VFA. The use of the VFA to inform job-matching decisions with, or on behalf of, individuals with disabilities may facilitate improved postsecondary employment outcomes.