Demographic Characteristics and Employment Among People with Severe Mental Illness in a Multisite Study

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People with psychiatric disabilities experience disproportionately high rates of unemployment. As research evidence is mounting regarding effective vocational programs, interest is growing in identifying subgroup variations. Data from a multisite research and demonstration program were analyzed to identify demographic characteristics associated with employment outcomes, after adjusting for the effects of program, services, and study site. Longitudinal analyses found that people with more recent work history, younger age, and higher education were more likely to achieve competitive employment and to work more hours per month, while race and gender effects varied by employment outcome. Results provide strong evidence of demographic subgroup variation and need.

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