Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert L. Betz

Second Advisor

Dr. Edward Trembley


Each year approximately 30,000 to 50,000 individuals suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) serious enough to limit their ability to return to their pre-injury life style. A large portion of these individuals are men in their early adult years who are primary wage earners and, additionally, are in the process of establishing primary career tracks. The consequences of the injury, although not negatively impacting on their life expectancy, pose barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment. A persistent problem for rehabilitation specialists is predicting job performance following a TBI. Existing instruments were not available to assess behavioral changes resulting from the injury.

Thirty-four TBI patients comprised the sample for the study. The Categories and Trails B subtests of the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery (HRNTB) was used to determine severity of the TBI. A new instrument, the Vocational Scaling System (VSS), was administered to the subjects following a minimum of 4 weeks in a job placement. The Vocational Scaling System (VSS) was developed to evaluate work related behavior in an on-the-job setting. It was constructed to provide a simple, objective and easily administered tool that would numerically measure six work-related behaviors that were negatively affected by a TBI.

The interrelationships between the VSS behavioral measurements, and the Categories and Trails B tests from the HRNTB became the focus for the present study. The relationships between individual behaviors that comprise the VSS and their sensitivity to severity of injury was also examined.

The results showed that the category Independence is the behavior most sensitive to the severity of injury. Additionally, Independence appears to measure a category of skills and abilities that is related to each of the other behavioral areas evaluated by the VSS. Finally, the structure of the VSS was reviewed and recommendations were made to modify or eliminate specific questions, and to increase the number of questions in some behavioral categories.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons