Open Journal Systems

Psychological and economic self-sufficiency among low-income jobseekers with physical disability barriers

Philip Young P. Hong, Haley Stokar, Sangmi Choi

Article ID: 22
Vol 1, Issue 1, 2016, Article identifier:

VIEWS - 830 (Abstract) 605 (PDF)


The purpose of this research is to investigate the process of psychological empowerment by way of examining the effects of perceived employment barrier on employment hope, and employment hope on economic self-sufficiency. A structural equation modeling analysis was used with a sample of 517 participants in a job readiness program of a community-based social service organization in Chicago. Results indicate that employment hope mediates the path between perceived barriers and economic self-sufficiency. Findings provide preliminary evidence to support an empowerment-based approach to rehabilitation, promoting self-sufficiency among people with physical disabilities using interventions that address employment barriers and employment hope.


disability; self-sufficiency; employment barriers; employment hope; low-income

Full Text:


Included Database


Achterberg T J, Wind H, de Boer A G E M, et al. 2009, Factors that promote or hinder young disabled people in work participation: A systematic review. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, vol.19(2): 129–141.

Albrecht G L and Devlieger P J, 1999, The disability paradox: High quality of life against all odds. Social Science & Medicine, vol.48(8): 977–988.

Ali M, Schur L and Blanck P, 2011, What types of jobs do people with disabilities want? Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, vol.21: 199–210.

Anderson J C and Gerbing J W, 1988, Structural equation modeling in practice: A review and recommended two-step approach. Psychological Bulletin, vol.103: 411–423.

Antonovsky A, 1987, Unraveling the Mystery of Health: How People Manage Stress and Stay Well. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Befort S F, 2003, Reasonable accommodation and reassignment under the Americans with Disabilities Act: Answers, questions, and suggested solutions after U.S. airways, Inc. v. Barnett. Arizona Law Review, vol.45: 931–985.

Bentler P M and Bonett D C, 1980, Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structure. Psychological Bulletin, vol.88(3): 588–606.

Bentler P M, 1990, Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, vol.107(2): 238–246.

Biegel D, Stevenson L, Beimers D, et al. 2010, Predictors of competitive employment among consumers with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. Research on Social Work Practice, vol.20(2):191–201.

Blomquist K B, Brown G, Peersen A, et al. 1998, Transitioning to independence: Challenges for young people with disabilities and their caregivers. Orthopaedic Nursing, vol.17(3): 27–36.

Bollen K A and Long J S, 1993, Testing Structural Equation Models. California: Sage Publications.

Browne M W and Cudeck R, 1993, Alternative ways of assessing model fit, in K A Bollen and J S Long (Eds.), Testing Structural Equation Models. California: Sage Publications, 136–162.

Chin W W, 1998, Commentary: Issues and opinion on structural equation modeling. Management Information Systems Quarterly, vol.22(1), vii–xvi.

Choe C, 2013, Determinants of labor market outcomes of disabled men before and after the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Korean Economic Review, vol.29, 211–233.

Dalal A, 2010, Disability-poverty nexus psycho-social impediments to participatory, Development Psychology & Developing Societies, vol.22, 409–437.

Danziger S, Corcoran M, Danzigerm S, et al. 2000, Barriers to the employment of welfare recipients, in A Cherry and W M Rogers (Eds.), Prosperity for All? Economic Boom and African Americans. Ann Arbor, MI: PSC Publications.

Diemer M and Blustein D, 2007, Vocational hope and vocational identity: Urban adolescents’ career development. Journal of Career Assessment, vol.42, 98–118.

Dorsett P, 2010, The importance of hope in coping with severe acquired disability. Australian Social Work, vol.63(1): 83–102.

Estlund C, 2003, Working Together: How Workplace Bonds Strengthen a Diverse Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press.

Farran C J, Herth K A and Popivich J M, 1995, Hope and hopelessness: Critical clinical constructs. Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol.22(4): 818–819.

Fogg N P, Harrington P E and McMahon B T, 2010, The impact of the great recession on the unemployment of Americans with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, vol.33: 193–202.

Gold P B, Fabian E S and Luecking R G, 2013, Job acquisition by urban youth with disabilities transitioning from school to work. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, vol.57: 31–45.

Gowdy E and Pearlmutter S, 1993, Economic self-sufficiency: It’s not just money. Affilia, vol.8: 368–387.

Groopman J, 2003, Anatomy of Hope. New York: Random House.

Hong P Y P, 2013, Toward a client-centered benchmark for self-sufficiency: Evaluating the ‘process’ of becoming job ready. Journal of Community Practice, vol.21(4): 356–378.

Hong P Y P, 2014, Employment hope: A path to empowering disconnected workers, in E J Clark and E F Hoffler (Eds.), Hope Mat-ters: The Power of Social Work. Washington, D.C.: NASW Press, 143–148.

Hong P Y P, 2015, Transforming Impossible into Possible (TIP): A group work model in workforce development. Poster presented at the 2015 International Association of Social Work with Groups (IASWG) Symposium at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, viewed June 4–7. 2015.

Hong P Y P and Choi S, 2013, The employment hope scale: Measuring an empowerment pathway to employment success. International Journal of Psychology Research, vol.8: 173–189.

Hong P Y P, Choi S and Polanin J R, 2014, A multi-sample confirmatory factor analysis of the Short Employment Hope Scale (EHS-14). Journal of Social Service Research, vol.40(3): 339–352.

Hong P Y P, Hodge D and Choi S, 2015, Spirituality, hope, and self-sufficiency among low-income job seekers. Social Work, vol.60(2): 155–164.

Hong P Y P, Lewis D and Choi S, 2014, Employment hope as an empowerment pathway to self-sufficiency among ex-offenders. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, vol.53(5): 317–333.

Hong P Y P, Polanin J R, Key W, et al. 2014, Development of the Perceived Employment Barrier Scale (PEBS): An empowerment perspective. Journal of Community Psychology, vol.42(6): 689–706.

Hong P Y P, Polanin J R and Pigott T D, 2012, Validation of the employment hope scale: Measuring psychological self-sufficiency among low-income jobseekers. Research on Social Work Practice, vol.22(3): 323–332.

Hong P Y P, Sheriff V and Naeger S, 2009, A bottom-up definition of self-sufficiency: Voices from low-income jobseekers. Qualitative Social Work, vol.8(3): 357–376.

Hong P Y P and Wernet S P, 2007, Structural reinterpretation of poverty by examining working poverty: Implications for community and policy practice. Families in Society, vol.88(3): 361–373.

Hu L and Bentler P M, 1999, Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, vol.6(1): 1–55.

Jarvis C, MacKenzie S and Podsakoff P A, 2003, Critical review of construct indicators and measurement model misspecification in marketing and consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, vol.30: 199–218.

Kent B and La Grow S, 2007, The role of hope in adjustment to acquired hearing loss. International Journal of Audiology, vol.46(6): 328–340.

Kline R B, 2011, Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling (3rd ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.

Livneh H and Wilson L, 2003, Coping strategies as predictors and mediators of disability-related variables and psychosocial adaptation. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, vol.46(4): 194–208.

Luthans F, Avolio B J, Avey J B, et al. 2007, Positive Psychological Capital: Measurement and Relationship with Performance and Satisfaction, Digital Commons, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Mabin A and Randall C, 2014, The role of client motivation in workplace rehabilitation. Journal of Social Inclusion, vol.5: 5–18.

Magaletta P R and Oliver J M, 1999, The hope construct, will, and ways: Their relations with self-efficacy, optimism, and general well-being. Journal of Clinical Psychology, vol.55(5): 539–551.;2-7.

Meda D, 1995, Le travail: Une valeur en voie de disparition. Paris: Aubier, viewed April 15, 2015.

Mohanty M S, 2009, Effects of positive attitude on earnings: Evidence from the US longitudinal data. Journal of Socio-Economics, vol.38: 357–371.

Moss K and Burris S, 2007, The employment discrimination provisions of the Americans with disabilities act: Implementation and Impact, in M J Field and A M Jette (Eds.), The Future of Disability in America. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

Nunn K, Lewin T, Walton J, et al. 1996, The construction and characteristics of an instrument to measure personal hopefulness. Psychological Medicine, vol.26(3): 531–545.

O’Connor K, Kline A, Sawh L, et al. 2013, Unemployment and co-occurring disorders among homeless veterans. Journal of Dual Diagnosis, vol.9: 134–138.

Palmer M G, Thuy N T, Quyen Q T, et al. 2012, Disability measures as an indicator of poverty: A case study from Viet Nam. Journal of International Development, vol.24: S53–S68.

Pescosolido B A, Wright E R and Sullivan W P, 1995, Communities of care: A theoretical perspective on case management models in mental health. Advances in Medical Sociology, vol.6: 37–79.

Rotter J B, 1966, Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, vol.80(1): 1–28.

Rotter J B, 1990, Internal versus external control of reinforcement: A case history of a variable. American Psychologist, vol.45(4): 489–493.

Schultz O, 2014, Schopenhauer’s Critique of Hope. Norderstedt: BoD – Books on Demand GmbH.

Schur L, 2002, The difference a job makes: The effects of employment among people with disabilities. Journal of Economic Issues, vol.36(2): 339–348.

Seligman M and Csikszentmihalyi M, 2000, Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, vol.55: 5–14.

Shapiro J P, 1993, No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement. New York: Times Books.

Siegert R J and Taylor W J, 2004, Theoretical aspects of goal-setting and motivation in rehabilitation. Disability & Rehabilitation, vol.26: 1–8.

Snyder C R, 1991, The will and the ways: Development and validation of an individual-differences measure of hope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol.60(4): 570-585.

Sobel M E, 1982, Asymptotic confidence intervals for indirect effects in structural equation models, Sociological Methodology, vol.13: 290–312.

Svajger A and Winding K, 2009, Perceptions of possibilities of returning to work with chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Work, vol.32(4): 443–454.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013, Persons with disability: Barriers to employment, types of assistance, and other la-bor-related issues, viewed May 2012,

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015, Persons with disability: Labor force characteristics summary, viewed June 16, 2015,

Van Campen C and Van Stantvoort M, 2013, Explaining low subjective well-being of persons with disabilities in Europe: The impact of disability, personal resources, participation and socio-economic status. Social Indicators Research, vol.111: 839–854.

Ville I and Winance M, 2006, To work or not to work? The occupational trajectories of wheelchair users. Disability & Rehabilitation, vol.28(7): 423–436.

Wehmeyer M L, 1998, Self-determination and individuals with significant disabilities: Examining meanings and misinterpretations. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, vol.23(1): 5–16.

(830 Abstract Views, 605 PDF Downloads)


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Philip Young P. Hong, Haley Stokar, Sangmi Choi

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.