Long-Term Outcomes for Transition-Age Youth With Mental Health Conditions Who Receive Postsecondary Education Support

Publisher: Journal of Disability Policy Studies (online ahead of print, subscription required)
May 16, 2019
Authors
Priyanka Anand and Todd C. Honeycutt
This article examines the relationship between receiving support for postsecondary education (college or vocational training) from state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and long-term outcomes for youth with mental health conditions (MHCs). We use longitudinal data to follow three cohorts of youth VR applicants for 9 years after they applied for VR services. The results show a strong relationship between receipt of postsecondary education support and long-term employment, earnings, and federal disability benefit receipt. For some outcomes, such as being employed in the 9 years after VR application, the number of years employed, and benefit receipt in the 9 years after VR application for those who did not receive benefits at the time of application, the association is larger for youth with MHCs than for those with other disabilities. These findings provide valuable descriptive estimates of the benefits of providing postsecondary education support for VR youth with MHCs and how these benefits compare with youth with other types of disabilities.