Employment, Social Capital and Community Participation among Israelis with Disabilities

Friday, November 1, 2013
First author:
Araten-Bergman T.
Participation through Paid Work

School of Social Work, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

All authors:

Tal Araten-Bergman

Inclusive Employment
Human rights, friendship, social participation, employment


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 inter-relationships of these concepts remains largely overlooked, as does the empirical basis for understanding the underlying connections. The current study aims are two fold: first, to explore the relationships between employment status, social capital, community participation and well-being among Israelis with disabilities. Second, to explore the unique contribution of social capital to the well-being and integration of individuals with disabilities.‬‬‬


A total of 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 nonemployed (n=143) participants, and logistic regression analysis was conducted to test the unique contribution of employment to social inclusion and well-being.‬


Core findings indicate that 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 participant’s subjective well-being. ‬‬‬‬


Acknowledging the importance of social capital for community inclusion may inspire disability advocates to better address the importance of network building as means of promoting social and vocational inclusion.