Background: Very few population-based studies have investigated the association between the onset of health conditions/impairments associated with disability and subsequent well-being. Objective: To examine the association between the onset of disability and four indicators of well-being (full-time engagement in employment or education, financial hardship, social support, subjective well-being) among a nationally representative sample of Australian adolescents and young adults. Methods: Secondary analysis of the first eight waves (2001-2008) of the survey of Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia. Results: For financial hardship and subjective well-being, the majority of participants belonged to trajectory classes for which there was no evidence that the onset of disability was associated with a subsequent lowering of well-being. For participation in employment and education, the majority of participants belonged to trajectory classes for which there was evidence of a modest immediate reduction in participation rates followed by subsequent stability. For social support, the majority of participants belonged to trajectory classes for which there was evidence of a modest temporary reduction in support followed by rebound back to initial levels. Membership of classes associated with poorer outcomes was associated with a number of covariates including: male gender; younger age of disability onset; being born overseas; not living with both parents at age 14; lower proficiency in the English language; and parental education being year 12 or below. Conclusions: The results of our analyses illustrate the existence of clear empirically defined trajectory classes following the onset of disability across a range of indicators of well-being.
- Onset of disability
- Social inclusion