Employment and education outcomes of transition-age youth with depressive-mood disorders : insights from the federal-state vocational rehabilitation program

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2019-07-09

Authors

Akinola, Olayemi Ajibola

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Abstract

Transition-age youth (TAY) living with depressive-mood disorders (DMD) experience adverse employment and educational outcomes. Over 30,000 TAY with these conditions enroll in the federal-state vocational rehabilitation (VR) program annually. Yet, little is known about their experiences and outcomes from the program. Using the national Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) data for 2015 fiscal year, this study sought to, (a) shed light on the demographic factors that impact education and employment outcomes of TAY with DMD in the federal-state VR program and, (b) investigate associations between VR services and their education and employment outcomes. The analytic sample comprised of 4,772 TAY who had DMD as a primary cause of disability. Descriptive, logistic and multilinear regression analyses were computed to examine the associations between youth-level variables (demographic characteristics and VR services) and successful employment, weekly earnings and postsecondary degree attainment. Results suggest that demographic characteristics such as age, gender, race/ethnicity and level of education are associated with successful employment, weekly earnings and postsecondary degree attainment. The receipt of VR services such as occupational training, job readiness training, supported employment, job search, job placement, on-the-job support, treatment and education support services were also found to be associated with successful employment, weekly earnings and postsecondary degree attainment. The implication of these findings for practice and future research are discussed

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