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03/02/2013

Student Self-Determination: A Preliminary Investigation of the Role of Participation in Inclusive Settings


Student Self-Determination: A Preliminary Investigation of the Role of Participation in Inclusive Settings

Carolyn Hughes, Joseph C. Cosgriff, Martin Agran, and Barbara H. Washington

 

Abstract: Little is known about the effects of participation in inclusive settings on student self-determination. In this exploratory study, we examined the association between students’ inclusive school and community activities and the self-determination skills of active involvement in IEP activities and use of selected self-determination strategies. Forty-seven students with severe intellectual disability from three high schools participated; one high school was undergoing state takeover for consistently failing to make AYP and served students living in a high-poverty community. Findings revealed significant differences across schools in student participation in general education and school- and community-based transition activities, which were associated with level of self-determination skill use. Students attending schools offering more inclusive activities reported significantly more use of six of nine self-determination skills. Active student IEP participation was reported to be low across all schools. We discuss implications of findings for future research and practice.

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