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ERIC Number: ED527456
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 330
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-3849-5
Student as Active Agent: A Grounded Theory of the Postsecondary Transition Experiences for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities
Liparini, Christina Garczynski
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Seton Hall University
Although research indicates a trend toward increased representation of students with psychiatric disabilities in postsecondary education, the experiences of these students tend to be marked by academic failure and social isolation. However, the existing qualitative and quantitative research on this student population largely excludes the transition experiences of students with psychiatric disabilities that take place before entering postsecondary education or for those who received services under an IEP or 504 plan. The purpose of the current study was to gain a clearer understanding of the facilitative and inhibitory influences that act upon the student as he or she transitions from secondary to postsecondary education. An additional focus of the study was the student's perceptions of his or her role in the transition process. Using a grounded theory methodology, nine participants who previously had IEPs or 504 plans for psychiatric disabilities participated in an in-person interview and follow- up telephone interview. Eight were currently attending either a four-year institution or community college and one was at home following a medical leave of absence. All had completed 60 or fewer credits. Participants reported diagnoses including major depression, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenia. Four participants had graduated from public high schools and five from private special education high schools. Data analysis generated the core category of "Student as Active Agent," which described participants' identity work and self-advocacy skills prior to entering postsecondary education. The emergent theory discusses the causal conditions (i.e., others' involvement and expectations) that influenced the development of core category as well as the maintaining context (i.e., opportunities for giving, illness status, and anchors). The grounded theory model also discusses the resulting strategies used by the "Student as Active Agent" (i.e., self-disclosure and other strategies) and their consequences (i.e., revisions to path and revisions to identity work). The emergent grounded theory model offers a means of better understanding the postsecondary transition experiences of students with psychiatric disabilities. Specifically, the findings suggest ways in which secondary and postsecondary personnel working with these students can facilitate more successful transitions by creating environments that foster the student's active role in the process. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A