Understanding how impairment affects how people spend their time is an important aspect of understanding community participation. For example, we know that having an impairment is associated with higher rates of unemployment, but how do unemployed individuals with impairments use this extra time? Moreover, how does the availability of transportation interact with impairment to affect time use? Countries around the world have used time as a metric for understanding the impact of social policy on sub populations. The US has been collecting time use data since 2002 and in 2008 began using the American Community Survey disability screening items.
The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) is a continuous survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Households are selected using a set of criteria to produce nationally representative estimates. We used ATUS data collected between 2008 and 2011 to examine time use patterns of people who report mobility impairments.
We analyzed the data of 32,627 individuals who were between the ages of 21 and 65. Within this sample, 2695 reported some type of impairment. We compared time use of individuals with no impairment to those with mobility only or with mobility and self-care impairments (n = 1287 and 403, respectively). Specifically, we examined the reported time spent transporting, working, grooming, performing health related self-care, socializing, leisure and watching TV. Lastly, we examined distributional differences by whether family income was above or below the median.
Identifying the relative impact of impairment and transportation on time use may help to promote policy changes and further research that advances independence and health. Further, time use research relevant to disability, transportation, and community development may lead to interventions that increase community participation.
- Project dates: 2011-2012
- Funded by: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Grant No.
H133B110006 to RTC-CL at the University of Kansas
- Principal staff: Craig Ravesloot Ph.D, Andrew Meyers
- Project partners: The Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Kansas.
- Related projects:
- Assess and Monitor the Distribution and Use of 5310 Funds between Rural and Urban Area; Develop and Evaluate a Voucher System for Increasing Access to Transportation for People with Disabilities Living in Rural Areas
- Assess the Potential Involvement of Rural Faith-Based Organizations in Providing Community Transportation for People with Disabilities
- Develop and Evaluate a Voucher System for Increasing Access to Transportation for People with Disabilities Living in Rural Areas