Working Papers

CDRP Working Paper 1: Disability transitions across the life course: Preliminary data from Australia

The aim of this working paper is to present preliminary analyses of longitudinal data from Australia that addresses various aspects of the dynamic nature of disability over time.

Disability research is dominated by cross-sectional studies that have examined the prevalence and correlates of disability at a particular point in time. As a result, little is known about the duration of disability or the factors that may be associated with disability offset. This reliance on cross-sectional data has served to reinforce the notion that disability once acquired is a relatively permanent state.
In recent years, the increasing availability of longitudinal data (especially from well-constructed population-based surveys) has opened up new opportunities for disability research. These have included the possibility of investigating the dynamic nature of disability over time.

The data presented in this working paper are based on analysis of ten years of data collected by the study of Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA). Our analyses focused on the most recent consecutive five year period in which the study participants provided information on their disability status.