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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Acceptance of Disability and College Transition: Factors Contributing to Adjustment for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities
by Balton, Marianne, Ph.D., Oakland University, 2020, 195; 28155917
Abstract (Summary)

Students with psychiatric disabilities exhibit lower rates of 4-year college enrollment, persistence, and graduation in comparison to their non-disabled peers. These disparities may stem from the stressors associated with psychiatric disorders, as well as the lack of effective on-campus support systems for this population. These students’ first-year college transition process can significantly impact their likelihood of attaining a degree. Through this grounded theory mixed-methodology study, the researcher explored the experiences of 22 first-year college students using semi-structured interviews and the Adaptation to Disability Scale–Revised (ADS-R). Through the ADS-R, students reported their experience in four domains of disability acceptance: transformation from comparative values to asset values, containment of disability, enlargement of scope of values, and subordination of physique.

The quantitative survey results showed no significant relationships between adaptation and age, GPA, gender, and diagnosis, apart from the enlargement subscale and GPA (p = 0.039, p < 0.05). Based on the qualitative interview findings, the researcher identified several strategies to ensure a successful college transition. First, students must identify the challenges that they will need to overcome, such as fewer academic accommodations and limited support systems. Second, students must persevere through difficult experiences through self-care, hobbies, a positive attitude, and a goal-oriented focus. Finally, it is crucial for students’ self-perceptions and goals to remain separate from their diagnoses. These findings can inform the development of more effective trainings for college counselors, as well as better resources for students with psychiatric disabilities, which may result in higher degree attainment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chaney, Michael P.
Commitee: Hawley, Lisa, Taber, Brian, Groomes, Darlene, Fink, Robert
School: Oakland University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Michigan
Source: DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Counseling Psychology, Disability studies, Educational psychology, Mental health
Keywords: Acceptance, Disability, Mental health, Psychiatric, Transition
Publication Number: 28155917
ISBN: 9798569986132
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