Increasing numbers of students with disabilities attend colleges and universities after graduation from high school (DaDeppo, 2009; U.S. Department of Education, 2002), but studies show that students with disabilities lag behind academically and fail to make progress and complete academic programs at a level and a timeframe comparable to their peers without disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 2002). Studies are needed that explore variables related to the academic performance of university students with disabilities. According to Tinto (1993), multiple factors relate to university students’ academic performance and persistence, including students’ background, academic and social integration, and personal characteristics. His theoretical model highlights the role of personal attributes in relation to academic success and persistence in postsecondary education. Much of the research conducted in the area of personal characteristics of students with disabilities has focused on only academic or cognitive attributes (Hall & Webster, 2008), while neglecting psychological attributes such as self-esteem, life satisfaction, perceived support, and perceived control. As these psychological attributes have been found to play important roles in adjustment to one’s disabilities and academic performance (LaBarbera, 2008), this area of study needs attention. In addition to a narrow focus on academic and cognitive attributes, research related to academic success and persistence of students with a disability has concentrated almost exclusively on students with a learning disability (LD; DaDeppo, 2009; LaBarbera, 2008). But, given advances in medical, educational, and environmental technologies and the fact that federal laws mandate improved access to postsecondary education (Newman, 2005; Skinner, 2004) to all, the scope of studies needs to be expanded to include those with other disabilities. The goal of the current study was to compare and contrast psychological attributes of students with different types of disabilities who enter college. Findings might suggest ways to make the academic environment more conducive to learning for students with different types of disabilities.

Full Text
Published version (Free)

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call