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Criterion Measures for Youth-Work Training Programs: The Development of Relevant Performance Dimensions

Freeberg, Norman E.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Criterion-Referenced Tests, Disadvantaged Youth, Employment Potential, Evaluation Criteria, Factor Analysis, Work Experience Programs


An attempt to develop relevant criterion measures for work training programs serving disadvantaged adolescents involved the longitudinal application of 32 trainee performance criteria at program completion and 40 longer-term outcome measures approximately six months following training. Factor analyses of those variables yielded four program completion (proximal) criterion dimensions of work motivation and planning ability, personal-social adjustments and training program competency. Post-program (distal) variables resulted in five dimensions encompassing areas of social and community adjustments, skill in job planning, ability to perform on jobs and to seek or find employment. Loading magnitudes and factor patterns provided a basis for identifying those variables with the greatest concurrent relevance; whereas, correlations between proximal and distal criteria pinpointed those end-of-program outcomes of greatest predictive relevance (e.i., proficiency ratings by counselors, work supervisors and peers; family adjustments, favorable self and social perceptions). This empirical approach to criterion development was shown to provide better understanding of the multidimensional aspects of a criterion domain and information for setting priorities in the choice of criterion variables. (38pp.)

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