Self-determination skills and opportunities of adolescents with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We asked teachers and parents to assess the self-determination prospects of 135 youth with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. Teachers typically reported that youth evidenced limited knowledge about self-determined behavior, ability to perform these behaviors, and confidence regarding the efficacy of their self-determination efforts. Parents and teachers diverged in their evaluations of the self-determination capacities of youth but agreed that opportunities to engage in self-determined behavior were available both at school and home. Although social skill and problem behavior ratings both were significant predictors of teachers' ratings of students' self-determination capacity, opportunities at school, opportunities at home, and problem behaviors were negatively correlated with ratings of students' self-determination capacities and opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-192
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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