Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Path Analysis of Disability Type, Academic Major, and Postsecondary Degree Completion
by Button, Amy Lynn, Psy.D., Alfred University, 2017, 135; 10284728
Abstract (Summary)

The present study utilized data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study – 2, which is a longitudinal study of a nationally represented sample of students with disabilities between the years 2000 and 2010. Using this dataset, the relationships among disability type area of study, and degree completion were explored. The final sample included approximately 310 students classified as having learning disabilities (LD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It was hypothesized that individuals with ASD would prefer fields of study where there was limited social interaction to a greater degree than those with LD or ADHD. Additionally, it was hypothesized that students with ASD would be more likely than their LD and ADHD counterparts to choose fields of study in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Results from two path analysis models, however, revealed no significant findings. Consequently, it appears as though other factors or a combination of factors better account for the postsecondary outcomes of students with disabilities. The primary implication of these findings is that professionals and caregivers should refrain from making assumptions about area of postsecondary study or degree completion based simply on students’ disability types. Furthermore, it does not appear warranted to direct students with disabilities to select specific types of academic majors simply because it is assumed that pursuing those majors will result in better postsecondary outcomes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Atlas, Jana
Commitee: Burch, Andrea, Curtin, Kevin, Greil, Arthur
School: Alfred University
Department: Division of Counseling and School Psychology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational psychology, Special education, Higher education
Keywords: ADHD, ASD, Academic major, Degree completion, Disability, Learning disabilities
Publication Number: 10284728
ISBN: 9781369814101
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