Supported Employment for People with Intellectual Disability: The Effects of Job Breakdown on Psychological Well-Being

Pauline Banks, Andrew Jahoda, Dave Dagnan, John Kemp, Victoria Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)



This paper focuses on the transition to supported employment for people with intellectual disabilities paying particular attention to the impact of job breakdown on psychological well-being; an issue often omitted from studies.

Materials and Methods

Forty-nine people with intellectual disabilities were interviewed within 3 months of entering supported employment and 9-12 months later. Data collection involved in-depth interviews with people with intellectual disabilities, their carers and employers and completion of a self-report measure of depression and anxiety (an adapted form of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and a self-report measure of quality of life (the ComQol).


By time of the follow-up interviews, 13 of the 49 jobs had broken down. Analysis of scores measuring quality of life, anxiety and depression showed no effect for loss of employment. However, interviews with participants indicated that job loss had a considerable impact on those affected.


There were a wide range of reasons for job breakdown, many of which were particular to the circumstances of people with intellectual disabilities. Although job breakdown does not have an impact of anxiety or depression many participants found job loss traumatic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-354
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • intellectual disability
  • job breakdown
  • mental health
  • quality of life
  • supported employment


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