Variations in Poverty by Family Characteristics Among Working‐Age Adults With Disabilities
Objective: To examine the association of family structure, family‐level employment, and receipt of adult public disability benefits on poverty levels among working‐age persons with disabilities in the United States.
Background: Working‐age persons with disabilities are more likely than their counterparts without disabilities to live in poverty. However, prior research has not fully examined differences in poverty that control for family structure, family‐level employment, receipt of adult public disability benefits, and other family‐level characteristics.
Method: Couched within a conceptual model of family resilience, data from the 2016 Current Population Survey (N = 110,865) were used to estimate binary logistic regression models predicting the likelihood of living in poverty, controlling for family structure, family‐level employment, receipt of adult public disability benefits, and other family‐level characteristics.
Results: Married or cohabiting households that include an adult with a disability had equal odds of living in poverty as married or cohabiting households without an adult with a disability. However, in single‐adult households, the risk of living in poverty was higher among those households where the adult had a disability than among those who did not. Employment and receipt of public disability benefits moderated the risk of living in poverty for persons with disabilities, particularly for single‐headed households.
Conclusion: Family structure, family‐level employment, and receipt of public disability benefits are associated with the risk of living in poverty among adults with disabilities in the United States. In short, the public disability benefit system in the United States can reduce but not totally alleviate the risks of poverty for working‐age adults with disabilities.
Implications: Continued investment into furthering the employment of adults with disabilities, while protecting the availability of public disability benefits can reduce the risks of poverty for Americans with disabilities.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Brucker. D. (2019). Variations in poverty by family characteristics for working-age adults with disabilities. Family Relations, 1-11. doi:10.1111/fare.12395.