Date of Award


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Copyright Status, No Creative Commons License

All Rights Reserved

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Nursing




School of Nursing and Health Sciences


Young adults with cerebral palsy have lower employment rates as compared to young adults in general, as they may be confronted with complex interactions between cognitive delays, physical impairments, activity limitations, participation challenges, and personal and/or societal barriers as they progress to adulthood. These challenges are clear, the solutions, less so. Understanding the predicting factors of employment is vital to future generations of this population. The purpose of this study is to identify predictor variables and examine the relationship of those variables to employment. It has explored existing Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA-911) data through the lens of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) model to examine the relationship of functioning and disability within the context of personal and environmental factors as predictors of employment among young adults with cerebral palsy. Following a descriptive and cross-sectional design using a secondary analysis of this national data set, binomial logistic regression was applied to analyze employment outcome and predictor variables. Of the study participants (N = 2,465), just under a third (30.4%) were employed. Most participants were White (74.7%), males (59.2%), with a reported physical impairment (90.7%), had a private living arrangement (96.5%), and whose primary source of support was from family and friends (54.7%). Significant predictors for employment were age at program exit, participation in career services, participation in support services, and basic skills and literacy. These findings concur with the persistent low employment rate and the need to understand the factors to increase employability. Nursing is strategically positioned to direct outcomes, reduce disparity, and advance equity. To achieve this, nurses are urged to deliver care that incorporates participation in daily activities and society and increase awareness of this pediatric-onset disability as a lifetime condition.

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Nursing Commons