Civic engagement and the school-to-work transition among young people with disabilities


Shandra, Carrie L. (2014). Civic engagement and the school-to-work transition among young people with disabilities. 2014 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


Previous literature suggests that volunteering and other forms of civic engagement contribute to more positive transitions to adulthood. Volunteering during adolescence is associated with improved average academic performance and educational attainment. It is also positively associated with the likelihood of employment. However, less is known about the relationship between volunteering and employment among students with disabilities, who typically experience lower rates of employment than those without disabilities. This study addresses that gap by using longitudinal data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine the role of civic engagement in the school-to-work transition for youth with disabilities. Data are used from Waves 1 and 3 of the public-use data file, with disabling condition and severity of limitation measured in Wave 1 and civic engagement and employment measured in Wave 3. Preliminary results suggest students with disabilities are less likely to participate in volunteer activities than their peers without disabilities. However, the estimated effect of volunteering on employment is greater for those with a disability than for those without a disability. Future work will extend these analyses to consider educational attainment, wages and tenure, and other forms of civic engagement (e.g. Duke 2009). Thus, results will help understand an alternate pathway through which adolescents with disabilities might increase labor market success.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2014 Add Health Users Conference


Shandra, Carrie L.

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID