Appealing Features of Vocational Support Services for Hispanic and non-Hispanic Transition Age Youth and Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions

  • Rosalie A. Torres StoneEmail author
  • Jonathan Delman
  • Colleen E. McKay
  • Lisa M. Smith


Transition age youth and young adults (TAYYAs) diagnosed with serious mental health conditions (SMHCs) are at greater risk of being unemployed compared to their peers without SMHCs. Job counseling and job placement services are the greatest predictor of competitive employment, yet we have limited knowledge about what TAYYAs believe they need to obtain gainful employment. In person, qualitative interviews were conducted with 57 non-Hispanic and Hispanic TAYYAs with SMHCs enrolled in three vocational support programs in MA (Vocational Rehabilitation, Individual Placement and Support; the Clubhouse Model as described by the International Center for Clubhouse Development). Six themes emerged from the data: three themes were identified as social capital (supportive relationships, readily available workplace supports, and vocational preparation), two themes related to human capital (effective educational supports and work experience), and one theme related to cultural capital (social skills training). Unique features (Spanish-speaking staff and/or familiar in Latino culture, familial-like staff support) were frequently noted by Hispanic TAYYAs.


Cultural Capital Vocational Rehabilitation Competitive Employment Social Security Administration Vocational Program 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank the Transitions Research and Training Center young adult project assistants, Amanda Costa and Jennifer Whitney, for their valuable help in collecting and reviewing the data, their enthusiastic encouragement, and their technical support in the development and planning of this research. We would also like to express our deep gratitude to Dr. Charles Lidz for his useful and constructive recommendations for this manuscript. His willingness to give his time so generously has been very much appreciated.

Funding Support

The content of this manuscript was developed with funding from the US Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (NIDRR Grant H133B090018). Additional funding was provided by UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine Division. The content of this manuscript does not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

Conflict of Interest Statement

I declare no conflict of interests. The content of this manuscript were developed with funding from the US Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and the Center for Mental Health Services Research, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (NIDRR Grant H122B090018). Additional funding was provided by UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine Division. The content of this manuscript does not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies.


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Copyright information

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosalie A. Torres Stone
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Jonathan Delman
    • 1
  • Colleen E. McKay
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lisa M. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Research and Training Center, Center for Mental Health Services Research, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.Program for Clubhouse Research, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of SociologyClark UniversityWorcesterUSA

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