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Occupational injuries in the United States: A longitudinal analysis of race -gender differences

Terceira Ann Berdahl, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study uses the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1979) to evaluate race-gender differences in workplace injuries across time (1988–1998). I applied two labor market theories to explain race and gender differences in work injuries: structural devaluation theory and individual human capital theory. Both structural devaluation and individual human capital variables contributed to explaining some of the race and gender differences in risk trajectories. Regardless of individual race and gender, occupational racial-ethnic minority concentrations increase the risk of injury, supporting structural devaluation theory. Human capital theory also contributed to the models, and education was a strong buffer against occupational injuries. There was evidence of differentiated declines in risk across the 1990s by race and gender. ^ Six subgroups of workers from a random sample of youth who entered the labor market in 1979 were studied: white women, black women, Hispanic women, white men, black men, and Hispanic men. Using an intersectionality framework, I establish that occupational injuries differ by race-gender. Race-gender differences in the initial odds of injury, time trajectories, and relationships between substantive predictors support an intersectionality framework. Differences in injury risk across time were documented and modeled using a Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling framework. Non-Hispanic white men began the study with the greatest risk of injury, while minority men had the lowest risk of injury. Across the 1990's differences between race-gender subgroups diminished. Non-Hispanic whites and black women have the greatest risk of injury in later waves. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Occupational Health and Safety|Sociology, General

Recommended Citation

Berdahl, Terceira Ann, "Occupational injuries in the United States: A longitudinal analysis of race -gender differences" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3186848.