Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Burns, S.M., Hill, J., Boyd, B.L., Hough, S. (2010). Psychosocial predictors of employment status among men living with spinal cord injury. Rehabilitation Psychology, 55 (1), 81-90.
Title:  Psychosocial predictors of employment status among men living with spinal cord injury
Authors:  Burns, S.M., Hill, J., Boyd, B.L., Hough, S.
Year:  2010
Journal/Publication:  Rehabilitation Psychology
Publisher:  American Psychological Association
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Exploration into the relationship between psychosocial predictors and employment outcomes in persons with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is needed to explain much of the variance in employment status in individuals with SCI. Community access, perceived community discrimination, social support from significant others, depressive symptoms, and gender related variables can all be predictors to employment status but little research has been done into the area.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between employment status and several psychosocial variables. The authors hypothesized that participants perceiving fewer community access barriers would have better employment outcomes, perceptions of community-based discrimination would result in lower employment rates, greater social support would mean better employment outcomes, participants reporting depressive symptoms would have less likelihood to be employed, participants conforming to traditional male norms of self-reliance and emotional control would have better employment outcomes.
Study sample:  Participants were initially contacted through internet listervs for people living with SCI. The final sample included 83 men living in the United States who were either employed full or part time or unemployed. Most (86%) of the sample was Caucasian. The mean age of the sample was about 45 years.
Control or comparison condition:  Employment status was the comparison condition
Data collection and analysis:  Participants completed measures assessing all of the targeted predictor variables. Measures included the Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors (CHIEF) to assess access and discrimination related variables, Perceived Social Support Significant Other (PSSS) subscale to measure social support, Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) to measure depression symptoms, and the Conformity to Masculinity Norms Inventory (CMNI) to measure conformity to dominant cultural norms of masculinity in the United States. A forced entry hierarchical logistic regression was conducted for the study’s main analysis.
Findings:  Community access and perceived discrimination, social support, depressive symptoms, and men’s adherence to masculine norms all significantly predicted employment status and conformed to hypotheses.
Conclusions:  Vocational rehabilitation counselors should be aware of these important predictors to employment status. Taking a holistic approach to counseling and accounting for the predictors discussed in this study can enhance employment outcomes.

Disabilities served:  Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Populations served:  Gender: Male
Interventions:  Vocational rehabilitation
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition
Full-time employment
Part-time employment