Monetary incentives to reinforce engagement and achievement in a job-skills training program for homeless, unemployed adults

Authors


  • Mikhail N. Koffarnus is now at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Virginia Tech.
  • This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health Grants R01 AA12154 and T32 DA007209. We thank Mick Needham and Jacqueline Hampton for the efforts in implementing this experiment. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the National Institutes of Health.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kenneth Silverman, Center for Learning and Health, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, MFL W142, 5200 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, Maryland 21224 (e-mail: ksilverm@jhmi.edu).

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.

Ancillary