Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 52 Number 4, 2015
   Pages 371 — 384

Abstract — Reasons for job separations in a cohort of workers with psychiatric disabilities

Judith A. Cook, PhD;* Jane K. Burke-Miller, PhD

Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

Abstract — We explored the relative effects of adverse working conditions, job satisfaction, wages, worker characteristics, and local labor markets in explaining voluntary job separations (quits) among employed workers with psychiatric disabilities. Data come from the Employment Intervention Demonstration Program in which 2,086 jobs were ended by 892 workers during a 24 mo observation period. Stepped multivariable logistic regression analysis examined the effect of variables on the likelihood of quitting. Over half (59%) of all job separations were voluntary while 41% were involuntary, including firings (17%), temporary job endings (14%), and layoffs (10%). In multivariable analysis, workers were more likely to quit positions at which they were employed for 20 h/wk or less, those with which they were dissatisfied, low-wage jobs, non-temporary positions, and jobs in the structural (construction) occupations. Voluntary separation was less likely for older workers, members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and those residing in regions with lower unemployment rates. Patterns of job separations for workers with psychiatric disabilities mirrored some findings regarding job leaving in the general labor force but contradicted others. Job separation antecedents reflect the concentration of jobs for workers with psychiatric disabilities in the secondary labor market, characterized by low-salaried, temporary, and part-time employment.

Key words: adverse working conditions, job satisfaction, job separation, psychiatric disability, recovery, return-to-work, serious mental illness, supported employment, vocational rehabilitation, voluntary separation.


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This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Cook JA, Burke-Miller JK. Reasons for job separations in a cohort of workers with psychiatric disabilities. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2015;52(4):371–84.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2014.10.0260
ResearcherID: Judith A. Cook, PhD: B-9107-2013
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