Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Amy Armstrong

Second Advisor

Brian McMahon

Third Advisor

Paula Kupstas

Fourth Advisor

Richard Feinn


The Current Population Survey (CPS) has been a major source of disability data for public policy and research. The aim of this study was two-fold. First, the study examined the six disability measures added to the CPS in 2008 to determine if they are both a reliable and stable method of describing disability over a period of two survey administrations in a 12-month period. Second, this study then assessed the impact of disability upon labor force participation. This research used a subset of the respondents to the longitudinal CPS Annual Social and Economic Supplement; it included (N=11,721) respondents who indicated a positive answer to the disability questions in both survey months that the disability variables were measured. Descriptive analysis of expected demographic variable distributions supported the construct reliability of the measures. Correlation analysis utilizing Kappa coefficients demonstrated that all six measures of types of disability in the CPS are stable across time, and Fisher Z transformations show that, among the six, measures of physical and mobility difficulties were the most stable. Measures of visual difficulties, while stable, are significantly less stable than the other disability measures.

Logistic regression analysis indicated that all six disability measures have a significant predictive effect on the likelihood of employment of persons with disabilities, and a fully-controlled model including contextual variables supported the conclusion that four of the six types of disability (physical disability and difficulties with remembering, mobility and vision) have independent statistically significant effects on employment.


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