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Keywords:

  • therapeutic workplace;
  • homeless;
  • alcohol abuse;
  • job-skills training;
  • poverty;
  • monetary incentives

Abstract

The current study examined whether monetary incentives could increase engagement and achievement in a job-skills training program for unemployed, homeless, alcohol-dependent adults. Participants (n = 124) were randomized to a no-reinforcement group (n = 39), during which access to the training program was provided but no incentiveswere given; a training reinforcement group (n = 42), during which incentives were contingent on attendance and performance; or an abstinence and training reinforcement group (n = 43), during which incentives werecontingent on attendance and performance, but access was granted only if participants demonstrated abstinence from alcohol. abstinence and training reinforcement and training reinforcement participants advanced further in training and attended more hours than no-reinforcement participants. Monetary incentives were effective in promoting engagement and achievement in a job-skills training program for individuals who often do not take advantage of training programs.