Injury surveillance and associations with socioeconomic status indicators among youth/young workers in New Jersey secondary schools

Alexsandra A. Apostolico, Derek G. Shendell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Injuries involving career-technical-vocational education (CTE) are reported to the New Jersey Safe Schools Program online reporting system, the only U.S. State law-based surveillance data for young workers (ages twenty-one and younger), a susceptible, vulnerable adolescent sub-population. Methods: We examined potential associations between socioeconomic status (SES) indicators and high school student injuries reported between 12/1998-12/2013, excluding injuries acquired by staff members. Associations between DFG score - a proxy for school/district SES - and variables relating to reported injuries, including severity, injury type, injury cause, body parts injured, injury treatment setting and demographics were examined with chi square test (X2) for independence and logistic regression. To assess potential associations between SES and personal protective equipment (PPE), data were stratified by 2003-2008 and 2008-2013, given mandated payment by employers of PPE for employees. Results: Statistically significant associations were found between SES and injury cause [X2 = (7, 14.74), p = 0.04] and SES and injury treatment setting [X2 = (1, 4.76), p = 0.03]. Adjusted odds ratio suggested students from low SES schools were at a higher odds of being treated at a hospital emergency department (ED) than students from high SES schools (95 % CI 1.3-4.3, p < 0.01). Conclusions: These findings indicated low SES schools/districts have increased odds of being treated at ED, after controlling for injury severity. Future research should focus on implications such associations have on health care access and insurance for young workers and their families. With small sample sizes representing lower DFG scoring (SES) schools/districts, additional efforts should be enacted to increase injury reporting in these schools/districts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22
JournalEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 16 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • Injury
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Young workers


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