Award Date

December 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Policy and Leadership

First Committee Member

Cecilia Maldonado

Second Committee Member

LeAnn Putney

Third Committee Member

Tiffany Tyler

Fourth Committee Member

Joshua Baker

Number of Pages



The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the transition experiences of parents of young adults with IDD who are currently enrolled in a postsecondary educational

program in the Southwest part of the United States. This qualitative multiple-case study used Schlossberg’s transition theory to frame the cases for this report. Schlossberg’s transition theory examines the way in which adults move through various transitions in their lives and what strategies they use to cope with the transitions. The theory identifies three different types of transitions: anticipated transitions, unanticipated transitions, and nonevent transitions. In addition, the theory identifies four coping resources: situation, self, support, and strategies, which adults use to assist them with managing during the transition. Parents participated in six one-on-one, semi structured interviews with open-ended questions based on Schlossberg’s transition theory. Program staff, interns and volunteers participated in a focus group. Each interview and the focus group ranged from 60-90 minutes in length. The data collected from the interviews and the focus group were transcribed, coded, and organized around themes linked to the key constructs of Schlossberg’s transition theory and additional themes that emerged from the data. Findings revealed nine key themes which add to the research body of knowledge by highlighting the role that parents play in the transition from high school to a postsecondary educational and or work environment. Additionally, findings from this study provide valuable information to parents of individuals with IDD who are preparing their child for transition from high school to a postsecondary educational and or work environment.


Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities; Parental Perspectives; Postsecondary education; Transition; Workforce Development


Disability Studies

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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