Barriers to Work Among the Elderly: A Connecticut Study

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The Journal of Applied Gerontology


This study examines interest in labor force participation among persons age 55 and over in Connecticut. Phone interviews with 818 low-income elderly were conducted in 1984 to examine participation patterns and perceived barriers to employment. We found that reasons for not working involved predominantly situational factors such as personal health, problems with transportation, and issues relating to qualifications for training. Regression analysis indicated that the strongest predictors of an interest in work are the connection between training opportunities and good jobs, perceived income adequacy, willingness on the part of the worker to work on weekends, and having the appropriate qualifications for a job. Implications for social intervention and policy development for older workers are discussed.