The aim of this study was to explore the role of self-beliefs in predicting postsecondary outcomes for deaf young adults in transition from secondary settings. Three main constructs were explored: self-concept, self-determination, and expectations about the future. This study examined the relationships between deaf adolescents’ self-beliefs and actual achievements as they transitioned to adult life in three domains: life, employment, and education. Despite the generally positive self-beliefs of deaf people, which were, in some cases, related to postsecondary outcomes, the self-beliefs assessed in this study did not have a direct influence on postsecondary attainment. Findings suggest that for deaf people, successfully navigating transitions to adult life involves dimensions beyond individual agency. Positive self-beliefs are clearly a part of successfully attaining postsecondary outcomes, but deaf people may not have full access to equitable opportunities to capitalize on these beliefs.
Summary of Garberoglio et al., “The Role of Self-Beliefs in Predicting Post-School Outcomes for Deaf Young Adults”¹
Why was this work done?
- There is a lack of research that investigates the role of personal agency of deaf people in postsecondary achievement.
- To shift the focus away from deaf students’ deficiencies toward the perspective of deaf people as active, purposeful agents in the process of development.
- To analyze whether self-beliefs in deaf people directly promote positive postschool outcomes in the domains of postsecondary education, employment, and life.
How was this work done?
- Researchers conducted a secondary analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). A total of 550 deaf people were included in the analysis.
- Authors assessed the relationship between three self-beliefs, (a) self-concept, (b) self-determination, and (c) expectations for the future, and three areas of achievement outcomes, (a) life, (b) employment, (c) and education.
What did researchers find?
- No significant relationship was found between self-beliefs and postschool outcomes in deaf adolescents.
- In several cases, deaf adolescents had more personal autonomy, psychological empowerment, and positive self-perceptions when compared to their peers with disabilities, but these features were not considered comprehensive predictors for postschool outcomes.
“Successfully navigating the transition to adult life requires not only individual agency, but also access to equitable opportunities.
What are the implications of this work?
- Self-beliefs alone may not be sufficient to produce positive postschool outcomes among deaf youth.
- Successful transition for deaf youth is supported by strong characteristics of the individual (such as self-beliefs), but also requires access to equitable opportunities, such as higher education, employment, or further training.
¹Garberoglio, C., Schoffstall, S., Cawthon, S., Bond, M., & Ge, J. (2014). The role of self-beliefs in predicting post-school outcomes for deaf young adults. Journal of Developmental Physical Disabilities, 26(6). doi:10.1007/s10882- 014-9388-y