Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Holwerda, A., van der Klink, J.J.L., de Boer, M.R., Groothoff, J.W. & Brouwer, S. (2013). Predictors of sustainable work participation of young adults with developmental disorders. Research in developmental disabilities, 34 2753-2763.
Title:  Predictors of sustainable work participation of young adults with developmental disorders
Authors:  Holwerda, A., van der Klink, J.J.L., de Boer, M.R., Groothoff, J.W. & Brouwer, S.
Year:  2013
Journal/Publication:  Research in developmental disabilities
Publisher:  Elsevier Ltd.
Full text:    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No

Structured abstract:

Background:  Research examining which factors predict work participation, finding work and maintaining employment in young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The background of the research is grounded in the rise of ASD and ADD diagnoses and the low employment rates of individuals with these diagnoses.
Purpose:  Cox regression analysis was used to examine which factors were predictive of work-outcome. Separate analyses were used for finding work and maintaining employment. Interactions between intellectual disability and other potential predictors were tested to examine whether they would differ for individuals with and without intellectual disability. The analyses were also performed on complete cases
Study sample:  The sample in this study consisted of 563 individuals. 401 were men and 162 were women. The mean age was 19.4 years; 62 participants were younger than age 18. Of the sample, 48.8% was in the transition from school to work when applying for disability benefits.
Data collection and analysis:  The study used Cox regression analysis to examine work outcome, finding work and maintaining work and which factors were predictive of these three variables. Missing data were imputed using chained imputations with an imputation model consisting of all the personal and social potential predictors regressed on age, gender, diagnosis, co-morbid developmental disability, work factors and the Nelson-Aalen estimator for the cumulative baseline hazard of the outcome. Trace plots for means and standard deviations were checked for convergence. All analyses were conducted in STATA 12.1.
Findings:  Several factors were found to be predictive of finding and maintaining work. Being male was the only factor predicting both finding and maintaining work as applicable to the total sample and the ADD sample alone. Factors related only to finding work were living independently, expectations to be able to work full-time and positive attitude of parents, as well as lower perceived parental support. Factors predicting maintaining employment were higher age and positive attitude of environment regarding work.
Conclusions:  Findings of this study were that both personal and social factors are predictive of work outcomes and should be taken into account when supporting individuals with ASD and ADD in their school-to-work transition. An important predictor regarding work was expectations of individual with developmental disabilities, and therefore should be taken into account by professionals working with these individuals in their transition to find work.

Disabilities served:  Autism / ASD
Developmental disabilities
Populations served:  Transition-age youth (14 - 24)
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition
Full-time employment