Exploring Essential Characteristics of Self-Determination for Diverse Students Using Data From NLTS2
Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals
This study explored the impact of race/ethnicity on three of the four essential characteristics of self-determination—autonomy, self-realization, and psychological empowerment—directly assessed in the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2. Specifically, the impact of race/ethnicity was examined with six disability groups established in previous research: high incidence disabilities (learning disabilities, emotional disturbances, speech language impairments, and other health impairments), sensory disabilities (visual and hearing impairments), cognitive disabilities (autism, multiple disabilities, and deaf-blindness); intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury, and orthopedic impairments. Measurement equivalence was established across groups, but significant differences in the latent means, variances, and covariances were found suggesting a complex pattern of differences based on race/ethnicity within disability groups. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.