Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Susan P. Miller

Number of Pages



Students with disabilities face a difficult transition from high school to adult life. In the areas of employment and post secondary education students with disabilities have difficulty being successful (National Council on Disability, 2004; U.S. Census Bureau, 2004). The need for students with disabilities to be adequately prepared for the transition from school to adult life has been stated in government reports and research (Raskind, Goldberg, Higgins, & Herman, 1999; Wehmeyer, 1999; Field, Sarver, & Shaw, 2003, National Council on Disability, 2004; Reiff, 2004); The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the Possible Selves program (Hock, Schumaker, & Deshler, 2003) with a supplemental disability awareness lesson on perceptions related to self-awareness, self-advocacy, and goal setting among adolescents with disabilities, their teachers and their parents. Participants were 27 high school students with learning disabilities, two Learning Strategies Specialists, and 27 parents; A total of 10 intact classes were randomly assigned to either the treatment or control group. Both groups received a Disability Awareness Lesson . The treatment group received subsequent instruction using a Possible Selves program; whereas the control group received instruction in applied communication skills. The Student Rating Checklist, Student Rating by Teacher Checklist, and Student Rating by Parent Checklist were used to measure perceptions related to self-awareness, self-advocacy skills, and goal setting abilities. The Student Narrative Measurement was used to supplement these data a one-way repeated measures ANOVA to analyze the data, all students' perceptions of their self-awareness, self-advocacy skills, and goal setting abilities significantly increased from pre-test to post-test with no significant difference between groups. Using a one-way between groups ANOVA to analyze the data, student perceptions related to self-awareness, self-advocacy skills, and goal setting skills at post-test were significantly higher than both teacher perceptions and parent perceptions of students' skills. Using descriptive statistical measures, the results of this study demonstrate that high school students can learn the Possible Selves program in 14 hours of instructional time.


Determination; Disabilities; Effects; Instruction; Learning; Learning Disabilities; Possible Selves; Self; Self-determination; Selves; Students

Controlled Subject

Special education; Education, Secondary; Teachers--Training of

File Format


File Size

6021.12 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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