Comparisons With the General Population
When similar data items were available, comparisons were made between youth with disabilities and the same-age youth in the general population. Comparison data were taken from The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 (NLSY97), 2001 data collection, and The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, (ADD Health), Wave 3, collected in 2001–02. The picture of youth with disabilities presented in this report differed from that of youth in the general population in several dimensions; for example:
- Youth with disabilities were less likely to enroll in postsecondary programs than were their peers in the general population (45 percent vs. 53 percent).
- Rates of attendance at 2-year colleges were similar for both groups; the gap in postsecondary enrollment between youth with disabilities and those in the general population was most apparent for enrollment in 4-year universities (8 percent vs. 29 percent for enrollment at the time of the interview).
- Out-of-high school youth with disabilities were less likely than general population peers to be working when they were interviewed (57 percent vs. 66 percent), and the jobs held by youth with disabilities were of a shorter duration (on average, 10 months) than the average for youth in the general population (15 months) among those employed.
- Youth in the general population who were age 18 or older were more likely than their similar-age peers with disabilities to report ever having had sexual intercourse (83 percent vs. 73 percent). Youth with disabilities were more likely those in the general population to report having used any contraception (87 percent vs. 75 percent).
- Youth in the general population were more likely than youth with disabilities to have a checking account (68 percent vs. 46 percent) or a credit card (50 percent vs. 28 percent).