The relationship of race and disability to life satisfaction in the united states

Diane L. Smith, Reginald J. Alston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this paper was to determine the relationship between race, perceptions of racism and disability on life satisfaction. Data from the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) examined through chi square and regression analysis found that African Americans with disabilities and without disabilities show a stronger relationship between dissatisfaction with life and perceived racism in the work and health care settings than Caucasians. Other issues such as lower employment and income contribute to dissatisfaction with life significantly more for African Americans. Regression analysis showed that having a disability and perceived racism decreased the likelihood of life satisfaction. These results have implications for rehabilitation professionals who need to consider not only disability, but race when working with clients to achieve an increase in life satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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