Effect of Self-Determination on Postsecondary Enrollment of English Learners With Disabilities

Lynn A. Newman, Audrey A. Trainor, Harold S. Javitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the effect of three components of self-determination—autonomy, empowerment, and self-realization—on the postsecondary enrollment of English learners with disabilities, using quasi-experimental propensity score modeling and data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Transition Study-2. Results support the hypothesis that self-determination components affect postsecondary school enrollment. English learners with disabilities with higher autonomy scores were more likely to enroll in 2-year colleges, and those with higher empowerment scores were more likely to enroll in 4-year colleges. However, prior research found that English learners with disabilities are less likely to act autonomously or report empowerment-related behaviors than other students with disabilities or students in the general population. Considering the increasing importance of postsecondary education, the current study’s findings demonstrate the importance of promoting both the self-determined behaviors of this dually identified population of students and the learning environment supports that facilitate the practice of self-determination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-125
Number of pages13
JournalRemedial and Special Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • English language learners
  • exceptionalities
  • quantitative
  • research methodology
  • self-advocacy/self-determination
  • transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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