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Title: When work is more than a job : employment among people who inject drugs
Author: Richardson, Lindsey A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 3115
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis explores employment among people who inject drugs (IDU). It seeks identify what differentiates IDU who work from those who do not, barriers to labour market participation, and how employment is perceived and experienced by IDU. Using longitudinal data from the Vancouver Injection Drug User Study (VIDUS), it conducts this research through a detailed examination of the implications of missing data, quantitative analyses of transitions into employment and qualitative, in-depth interviews. Missing data analyses identified differences between those that those that do and do not have missing data, as well as predictors of observation gaps and how individuals end their study participation (either right-hand censorship, attrition, or death). Differences were observed along individual, behavioural and contextual dimensions. Analytical approaches to the relationship between data structure and content gleaned useful information for longitudinal studies with marginalized populations. Discrete time event history analyses of work transitions revealed complex relationships between drug use, drug-related activities, situational risk factors, and transitions into employment. While most IDU did not make transitions into employment, some did, and while some statistical relationships were expected, others were surprising. Novel findings included mode-specific addiction treatment impacts on employment (methadone vs. non-methadone) and the importance of the broader risk environment over and above even high-intensity substance use. Finally, qualitative interviews identified heterogeneity in individual motivations toward and experiences of work. Those who maintained concurrent drug use and formal labour market involvement utilized strategies to spatially and temporally separate the two activities. Individual capacities to employ these strategies were facilitated by material, vocational and temporal motivations, and interfered with by health conditions, catastrophic events and institutional relationships that operated as barriers to employment. This study provides insight into what is a known social determinant of health in the general population among injection drug users.
Supervisor: Gershuny, Jonathan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sociology ; Social disadvantage ; Statistics (social sciences) ; Substance use ; employment ; social determinants of health ; missing data ; longitudinal analysis