Purpose: Education, employment, and 'idleness' in young adults with ongoing physical health conditions were examined in relation to parents' education and respondent's age and co-existing disabilities. Methods: Telephone interviews were conducted with 421 individuals aged 20-24 years randomly drawn from public health programs in two midwestern states. In addition to a chronic health condition, 18% of the sample also had mental retardation, 21% also had a physical disability (but no retardation), and 11% also had a learning disability (but no mental retardation or physical disability). Youth were considered 'idle' if they were not in school, not employed, not married, and had no children. Results: Thirty-seven percent of the sample were enrolled in an educational program, and 48% were employed either part-time or full-time. Seventeen percent were both in school and employed, 50% were in school or employed, and 33% were neither in school nor working. Overall, 23% of the sample were idle. Youth with mental retardation were two to three times more likely to be in school compared to youth with a chronic physical condition alone. Youth with mental retardation and physical disabilities were less likely to be employed and more likely to be idle compared to youth with only a chronic condition. Parental education affected rates of schooling and employment. Compared to a general population sample of youth in the same states, youth with ongoing health problems were at higher risk for idleness. Conclusions: Youth with chronic health conditions and either mental retardation or physical disabilities are at higher risk for idleness compared to youth with a chronic condition alone or to youth in general.
- Chronic illnesses
- Young adulthood
- Youth special needs
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health