Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)
Teaching and Learning (Education)
Date of Defense
First Committee Member
Wendy Morrison-Cavendish - Committee Chair
Second Committee Member
Batya Elbaum - Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Marjorie Montague - Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Nicholas Myers - Committee Member
Considerable research exists on the importance of self-determination in the transition of students with disabilities from high school. Much of this research has focused on conditions in the family that may nurture and support the development of self-determined motivation. These conditions, as described by Self -Determination Theory, include support for autonomy, relatedness and competence. Little data exists, however, on whether the conditions in the family environment associated with self-determination vary depending on students' ethnic backgrounds. Participants consisted of 138 Latino and Anglo students with disabilities enrolled in six high schools within a large urban school district. Self-determination was measured using the Arc Self-Determination Scale (Wehmeyer & Kelchner). Students' perceptions of their family environment were measured using six subscales from the Family Environment Scale (Moos & Moos). Latino students scored significantly higher than Anglo students in level of self-determination, but no significant differences were found in perceptions of the family environment between the two groups. Self-determination was regressed on the family environment subscales and no significant effect sizes were obtained for the sample as a whole (R2 = .044, F (6, 129) = .993, p = .433). However, comparisons between Latinos and Anglos on the relationship between perceptions of the family environment and self-determination suggested that family environments associated with Autonomy were more related to levels of self-determination in Anglo than in Latino students. Family environments associated with Cohesiveness, Achievement Orientation and Control were more highly related to level of self-determination for Latino than for Anglo students. The study has practical implications for parents and school practitioners when planning for transition and implementing strategies to develop self-determination for students with disabilities.
Transition; Disabilities; Self-determination; Special Education; Family Environment; Ethnicity
Rodriguez, Raymond Joseph, "The Role of Ethnicity and Perceptions of the Family Environment in Self-determination among Students with Disabilities" (2010). Open Access Dissertations. 446.