9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS01 Sociology and Disability

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 Disability, Support/Assistance/Surveillance Building II, C3.01

Exclusion or integration of social assistance recipients from youth to adulthood

There has been a significant increase in disability benefits among young people in Norway the last two decades. Research has showed, by analysing the diagnoses over time that the increase has mainly been in psychiatric diagnoses (Brage and Thune 2008). Moreover, OECD (2008) has recently evaluated the school to work transition in Norway. The report question the high proportion of young people living on benefits in a time with very low unemployment rates in Norway. I want to explore the consequences of receiving benefits as young for their situation in adulthood. The aim of this paper is to analyse integration or exclusion of previously unemployed social assistance recipients from youth to adulthood
The research questions will be investigated by using a unique combination of survey and register data from the "Work, Lifestyle and Health" survey. This survey is a longitudinal panel survey following a sample of nearly 2000 individuals, representative for the Norwegian cohorts born 1965 - 1968. The survey was introduced in 1985 with follow ups in 1987, 1989, 1993 and again in 2003. The time window thus allowed by the survey spans from 1985 - 2003 giving us the possibility to view individual life trajectories from the age of 17-20 to 35-39 during 18 years... The panel was stratified based on the individual?s main occupation in 1985. Those in education were picked by the lowest probability (0.25, N=801), those in employment with a higher probability (0.70, N=800) and those neither working or in employment with the highest (1.00, N=394). In 1985 the survey consisted of about 100 questions on health, future ambitions, school- and work- adjustment. In 1987, 1989 and 1993 questions regarding health, both physical and mental, sick leave, leisure activities and substance abuse were added.

The results showed that even controlling for social background, alcohol-and drug use, mental health and total weeks of unemployment, to receive social assistance increased the probability of being provided by public support in adulthood.