Physical Disability at Work: How Functional Limitation Affects Perceived Discrimination and Interpersonal Relationships in the Workplace

Deborah Carr, Eun Ha Namkung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adults with disability have significantly lower rates of labor force participation relative to persons without disability, although it is unclear whether this disparity extends to subjective workplace experiences. Using data from the 2004 to 2006 wave of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (n =2,030), we evaluate: (1) whether U.S. workers with physical disability report higher levels of perceived job discrimination and unequal workplace opportunities and lower levels of supervisor and coworker support and (2) whether these patterns differ by sex, age, and occupation group. We find that workers with physical disability fare significantly worse on all four outcomes net of covariates. Disability takes a particularly large toll on men’s perceived workplace opportunities and white-collar employees’ relationships with coworkers. Young adult workers (ages 30–39) with disability report significantly more support from their supervisor relative to their counterparts without disability. We discuss implications for research and policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-561
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Health and Social Behavior
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© American Sociological Association 2021.

Keywords

  • disability
  • employment
  • perceived discrimination
  • workplace relationships

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