A Biopsychosocial Model of Transition of Adolescents with Intellectual Disability

Date of Award

August 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Child and Family Studies


Jaipaul L. Roopnarine

Second Advisor

Katherine E. McDonald


Developmental Disability, Intellectual Disability, Transition

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


The successful transition of students with disabilities from high school to employment is an explicit goal of many federal and state policies. Review of the extant literature on individuals with disabilities indicates that three major sets of factors influence employment outcomes of persons with intellectual disability: programmatic supports, individual skills and strengths, and familial factors. Using tenets in a model developed by the National Longitudinal Studies (NLTS) and the bioecological model, this study examined how programmatic supports, individual skills and strengths, and familial factors predict employment outcomes in individuals with intellectual disability. This study utilized a national sample of 270 young adults with intellectual disability who are from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Logistic regression showed that supportive families who engaged with youth at school and at home were more likely to have youth who achieved higher levels of success after high school, and the skills that youth had or had acquired affected their employment related outcomes. Findings are interpreted in terms of factors that promote employment of people with intellectual disability.


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