Incongruity between occupational interests and academic skills in drug abusing women

Kenneth Silverman, Mary Ann D. Chutuape, Dace S. Svikis, George E. Bigelow, Maxine L. Stitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study assessed the occupational interests and academic skills of 50 patients of a center for addiction and pregnancy. Patient ratings of 31 occupations showed that a subset of ten occupations (telephone operator, cosmetologist, mail clerk, data entry operator, child care worker, receptionist, office clerk, word processor, billing clerk, secretary) were of interest to significantly more subjects than other occupations (P ≤ 0.05). Most of the desired occupations were office jobs requiring basic skills not possessed by most study participants. Although participants had completed a mean (range) of 11 (8-15) years of education, their mean (range) grade levels of reading, spelling and arithmetic were estimated at 6.9 (0.8-12), 6.8 (1-12), and 5.7 (2-11.8) years, respectively. These data suggest that the study participants will need basic skills training to achieve their occupational goals. Importantly, patient ratings also indicated that most participants were interested in receiving the needed training. Overall, the study suggests that provision of basic academic skills training may improve the long-term employment outcomes of these drug abusing women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-123
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1995


  • Academic achievement
  • Employment assessments
  • Occupational interests
  • Substance abuse
  • Unemployment
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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