People with physical disabilities, work, and well-being: The importance of autonomous and creative work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective - Motivated by research linking job autonomy and job creativity with psychological well-being, this study examines how these work characteristics influence well-being among people with and without physical disabilities, utilizing both a categorical and continuous measure of disability. Method - Data were drawn from two waves of a community study in Miami-Dade County, Florida, of 1,473 respondents. Structural equation modeling was used to assess whether job autonomy and job creativity mediate the associations between the indicators of physical disability considered and depressive symptoms and whether these associations varied by gender. Results - Controlling for the effects of the sociodemographic control variables, both job autonomy and job creativity significantly influence the association between physical disability and depressive symptoms regardless of the measure of disability used. The effects of job autonomy were significantly greater for women than men in the context of greater functional limitation. Conclusions - The findings highlight the need to further consider the work characteristics of employed people with disabilities. They also demonstrate that the conceptualization and measurement of physical disability has important research implications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in Social Science and Disability
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameResearch in Social Science and Disability
ISSN (Print)1479-3547

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by grants RO1 DA13292 and RO1 DA016429 from the National Institute of Drug Abuse to R. Jay Turner (

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Gender
  • Mental health
  • Physical disability
  • Working conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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