Skip to main content

Abstract Details for Assessing College Life Adjustment of Students with Disabilities

The clearest career path to the middle class generally involves access, and completion, of postsecondary education. However, persons with disabilities are less likely to enroll or graduate from college compared with their same-age peers without disabilities. Seligman developed the Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment (PERMA) model that may be useful in understanding the wellbeing of individuals. The factorial structure of the PERMA model was used in a sample of college students with disabilities to examine the model’s relationship with outcomes important to college adjustment. Findings include: - PERMA was negatively associated with perceived stress, academic problems, and relationship problems. - PERMA was positively associated with life satisfaction, self-esteem, and locus of control. - The simultaneous regression results indicated a strong relationship between functional disability and life satisfaction. - The unstandardized regression coefficient between functional disability and PERMA was statistically significant, as well as between PERMA and life satisfaction. - When controlling for functional disability, functional disability was no longer a significant predictor of life satisfaction. - These factors were found to be significantly associated with lower levels of employers’ stigmatizing attitudes toward people with disabilities in the workplace. - The Abbreviated Disability Inclusion Scale is a brief, 6- item questionnaire that can quickly be completed by employers and key hiring decision-makers to gauge their disability inclusion preparedness and general disability inclusion climate, as a means to assess the effectiveness of demand-side interventions aimed at improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities.