As a research associate professor, Dr. Debra Brucker studies the economic, health and social well-being of persons with disabilities and other vulnerable populations. She has over 25 years of applied policy research experience and has held social and health policy research positions at academic institutions, research organizations, and state government agencies. Her recent research at UNH has focused on: 1) testing the efficacy of a job crafting intervention on improving employment outcomes for workers with disabilities; and, 2) identifying barriers to food security for persons with disabilities and older adults. She currently serves as Co-PI on a federally funded grant that is exploring how Long COVID has impacted living and working for people with disabilities (<a href="">…;), as Co-PI on a federally funded grant that trains the next generation of disability employment policy researchers (<a href=""></a&gt;), and as a co-investigator on the federally funded Disability Statistics and Demographics Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (<a href="……</a>). Dr. Brucker is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.


  • Ph.D., Resource Planning/Dev, Rutgers University
  • M.A., Public Administration, University of Delaware
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Delaware
  • B.A., Criminal Justice/Safety, University of Delaware

Research Interests

  • Public policy
  • Economics of Disability
  • Person With a Disability (Health/Safety/Medical)
  • Aging and life course
  • Food Assistance Programs
  • Food Security
  • Affordable Housing
  • Public Access Programs for People With Disabilities
  • Employment/Unemployment Studies

Selected Publications

  • Paul, S., & Brucker, D. L. (2023). Reasons for Not Working During the Coronavirus Pandemic Among Working-Age Persons With and Without Disabilities in the US.. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 104(12), 2019-2026. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2023.06.013

  • Brucker, D. L., Surfus, C., & Henly, M. (2023). Mental health experiences in 2021 for adults with disabilities who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.. Rehabil Psychol, 68(4), 374-384. doi:10.1037/rep0000511

  • Henly, M., Phillips, K. G., Smith, S. L., Kloza, E. M., & Brucker, D. L. (2023). Referral networks for pediatric patients with genetic conditions: The perspective of occupational therapists.. J Genet Couns, 32(5), 982-992. doi:10.1002/jgc4.1706

  • Forcino, R. C., Rotenberg, S., Morrissette, K. J., Godzik, C. M., Lichtenstein, J. D., Schiffelbein, J. E., . . . Lyons, K. D. (2023). Exploring Acceptability of Employment Interventions to Support People Living With Cancer: Qualitative Study of Cancer Survivors, Health Care Providers, and Employers.. JMIR Form Res, 7, e47263. doi:10.2196/47263

  • Brucker, D. L. (2023). Comparing effects of question set order and location within a survey instrument of two commonly used disability question sets among a U.S. population of adults.. Disabil Health J, 16(2), 101424. doi:10.1016/j.dhjo.2022.101424

  • Brucker, D. L., & Coleman-Jensen, A. (2017). Food Insecurity Across the Adult Life Span for Persons With Disabilities. JOURNAL OF DISABILITY POLICY STUDIES, 28(2), 109-118. doi:10.1177/1044207317710701

  • Sevak, P., Houtenville, A. J., Brucker, D. L., & O'Neill, J. (2015). Individual Characteristics and the Disability Employment Gap. JOURNAL OF DISABILITY POLICY STUDIES, 26(2), 80-88. doi:10.1177/1044207315585823

  • Brucker, D. L., & Houtenville, A. J. (2015). People With Disabilities in the United States. ARCHIVES OF PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION, 96(5), 771-774. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2015.02.024

  • Brucker, D. L., Mitra, S., Chaitoo, N., & Mauro, J. (2015). More Likely to Be Poor Whatever the Measure: Working-Age Persons with Disabilities in the United States. SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY, 96(1), 273-296. doi:10.1111/ssqu.12098

  • Hagner, D., Kurtz, A., Cloutier, H., Arakelian, C., Brucker, D. L., & May, J. (2012). Outcomes of a Family-Centered Transition Process for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders. FOCUS ON AUTISM AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, 27(1), 42-50. doi:10.1177/1088357611430841

  • Most Cited Publications