Increased Reinforcer Immediacy can Promote Employment-Seeking in Unemployed Homeless Adults with Alcohol Use Disorder

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Abstract

Unemployment, homelessness, and substance use are interrelated. The present study took place as part of a clinical trial intended to promote employment and abstinence from alcohol among unemployed, homeless adults with alcohol use disorders. Participants earned abstinence-contingent financial incentives for completing employment-seeking activities and hourly stipends for working with an employment specialist. In the initial condition, participants were paid all earnings on bimonthly intervals. Despite the availability of incentives for completing employment-seeking activities, participants completed activities at low rates. A multiple baseline across participants was used to evaluate the effect of providing pay every day for completing employment-seeking activities. Daily pay increased rates of completing activities for all three participants. Results suggest that reinforcer immediacy can be an important parameter in the control of employment-seeking activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychological Record
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Delayed reinforcement
  • Employment
  • Homelessness
  • Incentives
  • Reinforcer immediacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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