Disparities in Quality of Life Among South Africans With and Without Disabilities
- 323 Downloads
Although quality of life is recognised as a key area of research when assessing development, it has received little attention when studying disability in South Africa and other developing contexts. As a result we know relatively little about how people with disabilities living in developing contexts fare in comparison to their counterparts without disabilities. In this article we seek to address this gap. We draw on secondary data analysis of a national panel study to compare the outcomes of people with disabilities and those without on measures of objective and subjective indicators of quality of life. We demonstrate that on subjective indicators of quality of life, people with disabilities consistently fare worse than those without disabilities, but that these differences are related to a range of variables. This means that we need to understand the intersection of disability with other factors such as gender and age in assessing quality of life. Following this, we argue that investments in national scale interventions such as increased access to basic amenities and social services represent investments in capability enhancement. As a result such interventions have the potential to address the needs of all, including those with disabilities, and to substantially enhance their quality of life.
KeywordsDisability Emotional well-being Life satisfaction Economic well-being
The study was supported by a grant from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) number 58766. This study was a collaborative initiative between DFAT and the Centre for Social Development in Africa, University of Johannesburg. However, the views expressed and information contained in this report are not necessarily those of or endorsed by DFAT which can accept no responsibility for such views or information, or for any reliance thereon. The study upon which this article draws was conducted by a team of researchers. We would like to acknowledge Ms. Jacqueline Moodley, Dr. Edson Munsaka, Ms. Zenobia Ismail, Dr. Marguerite Schneider and Dr. William Rowland. Particular thanks to Jacqueline Moodley for her critical reading and feedback on drafts of the article.
- Ardington, C., & Case, A. (2009). Health: Analysis of the NIDS wave 1 dataset. National Income Dynamics Study. Discussion Paper No. 2. www.nids.uct.ac.za/publications/discussion-papers/wave-1-papers/98-nids/discussion-paper-no02/file. Accessed April 8, 2013.
- Bundy, C. (2014). What happened to transformation? (p. 36). Johannesburg: Mail & Guardian.Google Scholar
- Burns, J. (2009). Wellbeing and social cohesion: Analysis of the NIDS wave 1 dataset. National Income Dynamic Study. Discussion Paper No. 7. www.nids.uct.ac.za/publications/discussion-papers/wave-1-papers/98-nids-discussion-paper-no07/file. Accessed June 23, 2013.
- Camfield, L. (2004). Subjective measures of well-being for developing countries. In W. Glatzer, S. von Below, & M. Stoffregen (Eds.), Challenges for the quality of life in contemporary societies. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic publishers.Google Scholar
- Devey, R., & Møller, V. (2002). Closing the gap between rich and poor in South Africa: Trends in objective and subjective indicators of quality of life in the October Household Survey. In W. Glatzer (Ed.), Rich and poor (pp. 105–122). The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Duncan, J. (2014). The politics of counting protests (p. 31). Johannesburg: Mail & Guardian.Google Scholar
- Finkenflügel, H. (2008). Prospects for community-based rehabilitation in the new millenium. In V. Møller & D. Huschka (Eds.), Quality of life and the millenium challenge (pp. 265–272). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Greyling, T. (2013). A composite index of the quality of life for the Gauteng city-region: A principal component analysis approach. Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) Occasional Paper Series Paper No. 7. Johannesburg: GCRO.Google Scholar
- Habib, A. (2014). Now the rich must do their bit (p. 7). Johannesburg: Sunday Times.Google Scholar
- Leibbrandt, M., Woolard, I., & de Villiers, L. (2009). Methodology: Report on NIDS wave 1. Cape Town: South African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU).Google Scholar
- Mangena, M. (2014). Democracy has also brought us great inequality (p. 23). Johannesburg: Mail & Guardian.Google Scholar
- Møller, V., & Devey, R. (2003). Trends in living conditions and satisfaction among poorer older South Africans: Objective and subjective indicators of quality of life in the October Household Survey. Development Southern Africa, 20(4), 457–476. doi: 10.1080/0376835032000124475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mont, D., & Cuong, N. V. (2011). Disability and poverty in Vietnam. The World Bank Economic Review, 25(2), 323–359.Google Scholar
- National Planning Commission (NPC). (2012). National development plan-2030. Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.Google Scholar
- Noble, M. (2006). The Provincial Indices of multiple deprivation for South Africa 2001. United Kingdom: Centre for the Analysis of South Africa Social Policy, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford.Google Scholar
- Noll, H.-H. (2013). Subjective social indicators: Benefits and limitations for policy making—An introduction to this special issue. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11205-013-0379-7/fulltext.html. Accessed April 16, 2014.
- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). OECD Economic Surveys South Africa. (2013). http://www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/South%20Africa%202013%20overview%20FINAL.pdf. Accessed May 21, 2014.
- Ross, E., & Deverell, A. (2010). Psychosocial issues in health, illness and disability. Pretoria: Van Schaik.Google Scholar
- Sen, A. K. (1999). Development as freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- South African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU). (2009). National Income Dynamics Study 2008, wave 1 [dataset]. Version 5.2. Cape Town: Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit [producer], Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor].Google Scholar
- Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU). (2014). National Income Dynamics Study 2010–2011, wave 2 [dataset]. Version 2.2. Cape Town: Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit [producer], 2014. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor].Google Scholar
- Statistics South Africa. (2003). Census 2001: Census in brief. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa.Google Scholar
- Statistics South Africa. (2012). Census in Brief. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa.Google Scholar
- Statistics South Africa. (2014a). Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the 1st quarter of 2014. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa.Google Scholar
- Statistics South Africa. (2014b). Census 2011: Profile of persons with disabilities in South Africa. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa.Google Scholar
- Strine, T. W., Kroenke, K., Dhingra, S., Balluz, L. S., Gonzalez, O., Berry, J. T., & Mokdad, A. H. (2009). The associations between depression, health-Related quality of life, social support, life satisfaction, and disability in community-dwelling US adults. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181924ad8.Google Scholar
- United Nations. (2006). Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. United Nations. http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml. Accessed June 7, 2013.
- Warren, N., & Manderson, L. (2013). Reframing disability and quality of life: Contextual nuances. In N. Warren & L. Manderson (Eds.), Reframing disability and quality of life (pp. 1–16). Social Indicators Research Series 52. Springer Netherlands. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-007-3018-2_1.
- World Health Organization (WHO). (2011). World report on disability. Geneva: WHO Press.Google Scholar