Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Child Development

Committee Chair(s)

C. Jay Skidmore


C. Jay Skidmore


Don C. Carter


E. Wayne Wright


The problem to be investigated in this study was to examine the association between the educational training program of an Urban Job Corps Center and the reading performances of trainees from disadvantaged backgrounds.

A sample of 100 trainees was randomly selected to represent the total population of Job Corpsmen in an urban center. The Job Corps Center in Clearfield, Utah, was the initial site in this study. The sample selected from the Job Corps was from four racial-ethnic groups: Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Whites, and Mexican-Americans. Each trainee was given a reading test upon arrival and another test six months after training had begun. The test scores were analyzed in four categories: (1) mean reading levels by ethnic groups, (2) individual differences in reading performance by ethnic group, (3) those with one year performances compared with those with less than one year performances, and (4) comparison of those with seventh grade performances with those with sixth grade and below performances.

From these four ways of measuring reading skills, the results indicated that most of the trainees improved in their reading performances during the first six months in residence at the Job Corps. However, due to low reading levels in the individual initial test scores, all trainees did not improve at the same level of performance. Of the four racial-ethnic groups, the significant gains made in reading after six months of training was substantiated by the progress made between the initial reading level and the second reading level mean scores.

Mean scores, between the first test scores and the second, showed that most trainees, by racial-ethnic groups, made sufficient improvements in reading. These improvements were made in a six-month period of training in the Job Corps.

Of the four measurements used in this study, three were tested using the chi square statistical method to substantiate the significance in reading performances of these trainees. Level of confidence was accepted at the .05 level of significance.

From the results of this study it was evident that potential for learning can still be obtained by disadvantaged young men when opportunities favorable for learning are present. The rehabilitation Urban Job Corps Center in Clearfield, Utah, was shown in this study to be a means of achieving these potentials.