Exploring the relationship between age and tenure with length of disability

Am J Ind Med. 2015 Sep;58(9):974-87. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22481. Epub 2015 May 26.


Background: The aging of the workforce, coupled with the changing nature of career tenure has raised questions about the impact of these trends on work disability. This study aimed to determine if age and tenure interact in relating to work disability duration.

Methods: Relationships were investigated using random effects models with 239,359 work disability claims occurring between 2008 and 2012.

Results: A 17-day difference in the predicted length of disability was observed from ages 25 to 65. Tenure moderated the relationship between age and length of disability. At younger ages, the length of disability decreased as tenure increased, but at older age, the length of disability increased as tenure increased.

Discussion: Results indicate that although there is a relationship between length of disability and tenure, age makes a greater unique contribution to explaining variance in length of disability. Future research is needed to better understand why specifically age shows a strong relationship with length of disability and why that relationship varies with age.

Keywords: age; aging; length of disability; tenure; work disability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Employment / trends
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sick Leave / trends
  • Time Factors