Date of Award

6-8-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

J. Beth Mabry, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

John A. Anderson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Valerie Gunter, Ph.D.

Abstract

Using the conceptual model of social structure and personality framework (House, 1981) as a theoretical guide, this cross sectional mixed-method design examined how organizational structure and culture relate to practices for training direct care workers in 328 aging and disability network service provider organizations in Pennsylvania. To answer the research questions, a Best-Practices in Training Index measured the extent of best-practices in provider organizations. The study used a variety of quantitative and qualitative analytical tools that include demographic analysis, exploratory analysis on the univariate level, and multivariate regression analysis. I analyzed the content of open-ended responses to two survey questions. In order to promote greater depth, I triangulated the findings from the qualitative analysis with results from quantitative analyses. The results indicate that the structural predictors of best-practices in training include evaluation practices, network-type, payer-mix, the organization’s size, and intensity of care needs. The cultural predicators for best-practices in training include: the direct care workers’ input into care decisions and direct care worker integration in the organization. The results support no interaction between structural and cultural variables in relation to best-practices in training.

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