Perceptions of Self-Determination: Examining Discrepancies and Contributing Factors
University of Kansas
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Self-determination emerges and develops across the life course. While self-determination is a general psychological construct relevant to all people with and without disabilities, how a person develops and expresses self-determination across the life course is influenced by various contextual factors. There are a number of studies exploring how people with disabilities and their supporters perceive self-determination for people with disabilities and how contextual factors influence their perceptions. Furthermore, the Self-Determination Inventory: Student Report (SDI:SR) has been recently developed and validated to measure adolescent self-determination. Many studies have examined how young people perceive their own self-determination and how contextual factors influence their perceptions using the SDI:SR. However, to date, there has been no study synthesizing existing literature on perceptions toward self-determination among people with disabilities and their supporters nor a comprehensive study examining the impact of contextual factors on self-reported self-determination of adults with disabilities. This dissertation offers a collection of works examining perceptions toward self-determination and contextual factors that influence these perceptions. Across the chapters, we offer (a) an introduction to the self-determination construct, the Self-Determination Inventory: Adult Report (SDI:AR), and influential contextual factors (Chapter 1), (b) a meta-synthesis of research studies exploring people’s perceptions toward self-determination of people with disabilities (Chapter 2), (c) analyses of SDI:AR data examining the impact of personal factors on self-determination and its essential characteristics (Chapter 3), (d) analyses of SDI:AR data examining the impact of environmental factors on self-determination and its essential characteristics (Chapter 4), and (e) a conclusion synthesizing overall findings and considerations for future research and practice (Chapter 5).
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