Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Krause, J. S., Saunders. L. L., & Staten, D. (2010). Race-ethnicity, education, and employment after SCI. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 53 (2), 78-86.
Title:  Race-ethnicity, education, and employment after SCI
Authors:  Krause, J. S., Saunders. L. L., & Staten, D.
Year:  2010
Journal/Publication:  Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Publisher:  Hammill Institute on Disabilities
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Obtaining or returning to gainful employment after a spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the primary goals of rehabilitation. Employment rates of SCI patients have consistently fallen well below that of the general population. Employment rates of SCI patients that are not Caucasian have consistently fallen well behind the Caucasian levels. According to data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistic Center (NSCISC) 34% of Caucasians in the data set were gainfully employed. Only 12.1% of Hispanics and 7.9% of African Americans were gainfully employed. African Americans were more likely than Caucasians to report barriers to getting reemployed. Completion of a 4-year degree and obtaining certificates and certifications post SCI was associated with higher levels of post SCI employment in past research. Data from the NSCISC is dated and has not considered multiple factors together to determine employment outcomes.
Purpose:  This study‚Äôs purpose was to use data from the NSCISC to answer three research questions: (1) To what extent are there disparities in employment outcomes as a function of race-ethnicity? (2) To what extent are there disparities in educational attainment as a function of race-ethnicity? (3) To what extent do disparities in employment outcomes diminish for various levels of educational attainment?
Study sample:  All participant data is from the NSCISC. All participants included in this study are between the ages of 18-64. All participants were at least one year post injury and were not students or homemakers. There were a total of 14,454 participants and all were Caucasian, African American, or Hispanic.
Control or comparison condition:  Employment outcome as a function of race-ethnicity and education was the comparison condition.
Data collection and analysis:  Data was collected from forms that were already a part of the NSCISC. Information on race-ethnicity, education, and employment outcomes were of particular importance to this study. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the study sample and multivariable logistic regression was used to determine employment outcomes as a function of race-ethnicity and of education.
Findings:  Caucasians were most likely to be working followed by Hispanics and finally African Americans. Employment outcomes by education level ranged from 7.7% employment by those without 12 years of education to 66% by those with a Masters or PhD. At every level of education the employment outcomes of Caucasians exceeded those of Hispanics and African Americans. African American women were more likely to be working than African American men but the differences between sexes were not significant for any other racial-ethnic group.
Conclusions:  Further attention and research is needed to close the gap in employment outcomes between Caucasians and other races. Non Caucasians are at a disadvantage at any level of education.

Disabilities served:  Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Race: Black / African American
Race: White / Caucasian
Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino
Ethnicity: Not Hispanic or Latino
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition