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The purpose of this study is to evaluate how service providers, clients, and graduates of a job training program define the term self-sufficiency (SS). This community-engaged, mixed method study qualitatively analyzes focus group data from each group and quantitatively examines survey data obtained from participants of the program. Findings reveal that psychological transformation as a ‘process’ represents the emic definition of SS—psychological SS—but each dimension of the concept is reflected in varying degrees by group. Provider and participant views are vastly different from the outcome-driven policy and funder definitions. Implications for benchmarking psychological SS as an empowerment-based ‘process’ measure of job readiness in workforce development evaluation are discussed.




Author Posting. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, 2013. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Taylor & Francis for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Community Practice, 21:356–378, 2013.

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