Self-determination prospects of youth with high-incidence disabilities: Divergent perspectives and related factors

Erik W. Carter, Audrey Trainor, Laura Owens, Beth Sweden, Ye Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Promoting student self-determination has emerged as a key component of recommended practices in the field of secondary transition. This article examined the self-determination prospects of 196 youth with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), learning disabilities (LD), and mild/moderate cognitive disabilities (CD) using the AIR Self-Determination Scale. Teachers reported the capacities of youth with EBD to engage in self-determined behavior to be significantly lower than those of youth with LD but higher than youth with CD. Social skills and problem behavior ratings both emerged as significant predictors of students' capacity for self-determination but were not associated with the opportunities for self-determination teachers reported providing at school. Teachers generally evaluated students' capacity for self-determination lower than youth but higher than parents. Implications for transition assessment and planning are discussed and avenues for further research addressing this critical transition domain are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-81
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Adolescent(s)
  • Assessment
  • Secondary education
  • Transition planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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