In this investigation, we offer a quite comprehensive examination of political participation among people with disabilities - a large and growing segment of the U.S. population. In the 2000 census, nearly 50 million people identified themselves as living with a disability. Using national household survey data from 1998 and 2000, we find that senior citizens with disabilities have significantly lower levels of political participation than their non-disabled counterparts, In contrast, younger people with disabilities have levels similar to (or higher than) those of their non-disabled peers. In addition, seniors with disabilities are less likely than younger people with disabilities to attend disability groups or engage in disability activism. Finally, we find that increases in group involvement are strongly linked to increases in political participation, indicating that the lower group involvement of seniors with disabilities may account for at least some of their lower political participation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science