Predictors of employment in schizophrenia: The importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

Unemployment is a primary functional deficit for the majority of adults with schizophrenia. Research indicates that over two-thirds of adults living in the community with schizophrenia are unemployed. Despite effective programs to assist with job identification and placement, the ability to attain and maintain employment remains a pressing concern. A contributing factor that may be relevant but has received little attention in the work rehabilitation literature is motivation. People with schizophrenia show marked deficits in both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation but these deficits have not been directly examined in relation to work outcomes. The present study sought to examine the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and work outcome among a sample of 65 adults with schizophrenia enrolled in a supported employment program. One-third of the participants in the study obtained work. Intrinsic motivation related to valuing and feeling useful in a work role significantly predicted who would obtain employment. Extrinsic motivation related to gaining rewards and avoiding obstacles showed a non-significant trend-level relationship such that workers had higher extrinsic motivation than nonworkers. These findings highlight the importance of considering both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in work-related interventions and supported employment for individuals with schizophrenia. The results are discussed in terms of clinical implications for improving rehabilitation and occupational outcomes in schizophrenia.

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I am unemployed too…!!!

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I know you are. Didn’t you say before that you were returning to school?

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