Study 5

Research Study #5

Effects of Parent Mentoring on the Competitive Integrated Employment Outcomes of Adults with IDD: A Mixed Method Study

Research by Vanderbilt University and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center


A young man working on stocking grocery shelves.

The expectations, investments, and supports of family members can have a powerful influence on employment outcomes of youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Yet many families still struggle to envision employment, to know how to pursue it, or to assemble the supports their supported adult with IDD needs to find and maintain integrated employment. Drawing upon the experience, expertise, and encouragement of others who have successfully navigated the path to employment may provide the support and guidance these family members need to successfully find employment for their supported adult with IDD.

This intervention development study will (a) develop a practical mentoring intervention package that provides family members both with relevant information and personalized mentoring; (b) evaluate the package's impact on employment outcomes within a rigorous study; (c) examine how the intervention is implemented; and (d) package and disseminate the intervention in widespread ways through our extensive state and national networks.


A variety of approaches have been designed to equip families with information and resources to better support persons with IDD. However, these approaches have largely been informational and none have incorporated a mentoring arrangement in which family members work closely over time to support one another. None have examined whether these approaches translate into Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) outcomes for adults with IDD.

This study falls into the intervention development stage of research. We will develop, pilot, refine, and evaluate an intervention package that combines both information sharing and mentorship in ways that will lead significantly more family members to pursue and obtain integrated employment for their supported adult with IDD.

Project Briefs

Project Brief 1: The Voice of Families: Exploring Perspectives on the Pathways to Integrated Employment.

Project Brief 2: Meaningful Work for Individuals with IDD: Insights from Families.

Project Brief 3: Barriers to Employment for Individuals with IDD: Insights from Families.

Project Brief 4: Supporting Integrated Employment Pursuits for Individuals with IDD: Insights from Families.