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ERIC Number: ED498185
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 128
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 104
Perceptions and Expectations of Youth with Disabilities. A Special Topic Report of Findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). NCSER 2007-3006
Wagner, Mary; Newman, Lynn; Cameto, Renee; Levine, Phyllis; Marder, Camille
National Center for Special Education Research
The National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) was initiated to provide a national picture of the characteristics and experiences of youth with disabilities, including their self-representations, their schooling, their personal relationships, and their hopes for the future. This report presents findings drawn from the first time (2003) data were collected directly from youth on these topics; they were ages 15 through 19 at the time. Information was sourced from responses of youth with disabilities either to a telephone interview or to a self-administered mail survey. Findings address the following questions: (1) How do youth with disabilities describe the kind of people they are--their feelings about themselves and their lives, and their skills and competencies? (2) How do youth describe their secondary school experiences? (3) How do youth characterize their personal relationships? (4) What are their reported expectations for the future? and (5) How do these factors differ for youth with different disability and demographic characteristics? Adolescents' self-descriptions have been found to be related to multiple social and academic outcomes. To ascertain their self-perceptions, youth were asked questions about their views of themselves, perceptions of their disability, and feelings about their lives in general. To document the self-representations of competencies, youth were asked to report how well they perform in six specific domains: athletics, computer use, mechanical tasks, creative arts, performing arts, and self-advocacy. Additionally, two subscales from the Arc's Self-Determination Scale related to the broad concepts of personal autonomy and psychological empowerment were administered in in-person interviews. Research has demonstrated that the way youth feel about school can be related to their behavior and performance in school, outside of school, and in the years after leaving school. NLTS2 addresses the gap in knowledge base for youth with disabilities by reporting the perceptions of these youth regarding academic challenges, interpersonal challenges, school safety, services and supports received at school, affiliation with school, and enjoyment of school. Personal relationships can be "protective factors" against a variety of adolescent risk behaviors. NLTS2 provides an opportunity to examine views reported by youth with disabilities regarding their relationships with their families and friends and with other adults, and the extent to which, despite these relationships, youth report being lonely. NLTS2 has documented the perspectives of 15- through 19-year-olds regarding their future adult roles and their academic, occupational, and independence expectations. Disability category differences are apparent on many of the self-representations examined in this report: some of the perceptions or views youth report are consistent with the fundamental nature of their disabilities. Differences among youth with disabilities who are distinguished by gender, age, household income, or race/ethnicity are not common. Cautions in interpreting findings include: (1) the analyses presented in this report are descriptive; findings should not be interpreted as implying causal relationship, nor should differences between disability categories be interpreted as reflecting disability differences alone; (2) the report addresses the self-representations of youth with disabilities: the extent of discrepancy between the perceptions reported and their true views is unknown; (3) although discussions in the report emphasize only differences that reach a level of statistical significance of at least p less than 0.01, the large number of comparisons made will result in some apparently significant differences, even at this level, being false positives; also, meaningfulness of differences reported here cannot be derived from their statistical significance. NLTS2 will continue to solicit the views of youth as they age, which will provide information to examine how later achievements mesh with expectations and how views might evolve over time. The following are appended: (A) NLTS2 Sampling, Data Collection, and Analysis Procedures; and (B) Additional Analysis. (Contains 23 figures and 29 tables.) [This report was produced by the Institute of Education Sciences' National Center for Special Education Research.]
National Center for Special Education Research. 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202. Tel: 800-437-0833; Fax: 202-401-0689; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
IES Funded: Yes