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Tal Araten-Bergman & Michael Ashley Stein, Employment, Social Capital and Community Participation Among Israelis with Disabilities, 48 Work 381 (2014).

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Employment, social capital, and community participation have emerged in recent years as significant concepts for realizing the human rights of individuals with disabilities. Yet the theoretical interrelationship of these concepts remains largely overlooked, as does the empirical basis for understanding the underlying connections. OBJECTIVES: This study explores the relationship between employment status, social capital, community participation, and well-being among Israelis with disabilities. It also explores the unique contribution of social capital to the well-being and integration of individuals with disabilities. METHOD: 274 participants with self-reported disabilities completed a questionnaire containing measures of individual social capital, community participation, well-being, and background data. Correlation and Univariate analysis were used to compare scores between employed (n=131) and non-employed (n=143) participants, and logistic regression analysis was conducted to test the unique contribution of employment to social inclusion and well-being. RESULTS: Employed participants reported significantly higher levels of social capital and were more integrated in leisure and civic activities than their non-employed counterparts. Moreover, employment status was found to have a significant contribution to the variance in the subjective well-being of participants. CONCLUSIONS: By more fully understanding the importance of social capital for community inclusion, practitioners can better address the importance of network-building during the rehabilitation process as a means of promoting social and vocational integration.