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Employment outcomes among African American and white women with disabilities: Examining the inequalities. (Balcazar & Suarez-Balcazar 2015)

Absence of conflict of interest.

Citation

Balcazar, F. E., & Suarez-Balcazar, Y. (2015). Employment outcomes among African American and white women with disabilities: Examining the inequalities. Women, Gender, and Families of Color, 3(2), 144-164.

Highlights

  • The study examined the impact of adult vocational rehabilitation (VR) services on employment outcomes for African American and white women.
  • The authors used a statistical model and data from a Midwestern state VR system to compare the odds of employment after completing VR services for older versus younger women.
  • The study found no significant difference in employment outcomes between older and younger women who completed VR services.
  • The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because the authors did not ensure that the groups being compared were similar before receiving VR services. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to participation in VR services; other factors are likely to have contributed.

Intervention Examined

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services

Features of the Intervention

VR is a federally funded program that provides services to help people with disabilities prepare for employment. The services include vocational evaluation, education, training, and placement.

Features of the Study

The authors used a statistical model and data from a Midwestern state VR system to estimate the odds of employment for women who participated in VR services. The sample was limited to African American and white women as well as to those with a closed case at the time of data collection. The model predicted employment status for women ages 51 to 65 compared with those 18 to 35 and controlled for demographic characteristics, services received, and case expenditures. The analyses were based on a sample of 4,158 women ages 51 to 65 and 6,942 women ages 18 to 35.

Findings

Employment

  • The authors found no significant difference in employment for women ages 51 to 65 compared with women ages 18 and 35.

Considerations for Interpreting the Findings

The study does not establish that there are no existing differences in employment between the treatment and comparison group at baseline, and it does not adequately control for this potential difference between the two groups in the regression model. Existing differences between the groups could have contributed to the estimated effects.

Causal Evidence Rating

The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because the authors did not ensure that the groups being compared were similar before receiving the VR services. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to participation in VR services; other factors are likely to have contributed.

Reviewed by CLEAR

September 2019

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