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Self-efficacy often has a major effect on the success of actions that an individual takes (Niehaus, Rudasill, & Adelson, 2012). In particular, vocational self-efficacy, which can generally be understood as the belief in one’s ability to achieve success while pursuing goals related to one’s career, and includes such factors as self-awareness and self-determination, gender role awareness, disability awareness (for individuals with disabilities), and career and transition planning, has a profound effect on how successfully one is able to achieve these goals (Ali, McWhirter, & Chronister, 2005).
It is clear that vocational self-efficacy also matters when it comes to people with disabilities; in particular, it has an effect when these individuals are in the stage of transition from high school to their adult life, be it a career or further education (Lindstrom, Harwick, Poppen, & Doren, 2012). Therefore, it is important to investigate the factors which may have an effect on the vocational self-efficacy of individuals with disabilities.
The amount of literature related to vocational self-efficacy of high school students with disabilities and their transition to post-school life is rather limited; therefore, several studies pertaining to vocational self-efficacy in some other contexts were also included in the literature review. It has been shown that the self-determined motivation of learners, which was significantly affected by self-efficacy, and vocational self-efficacy, in particular, had a large and statistically significant effect on students’ intentions to study further or drop out of high school (Alivernini & Lucidi, 2011). Another study has demonstrated that greater job search self-efficacy was associated with better career outcomes of university students (Guan et al., 2013).
Therefore, it is clear that vocational self-efficacy should also be a factor when it comes to students of special education schools. However, it is noteworthy that such learners face additional barriers when it comes to transition to post-school life (Lindstrom, Doren, & Miesch, 2011).
Therefore, it may be beneficial to implement interventions aimed at enhancing vocational self-efficacy of children (Koen, Klehe, & Van Vianen, 2012); for example, positive effects of such interventions on some children with disabilities (more specifically, on children with autism spectrum disorders) have been documented in a number of studies, for example, in the articles by Lee and Carter (2012) and Powers et al. (2012). In order to make such interventions more effective, it should be beneficial to know what factors affect children’s vocational self-efficacy (Michael, Cinamon, & Most, 2015). This provides grounds for investigating the effects of several possible factors on vocational self-efficacy of children studying in institutions of special education.
Such factors as the type of disability of a child and their age may have an impact on vocational self-efficacy of learners studying in special education schools. Therefore, the purpose of the current study will be to investigate whether the type of disability and a student’s age could be used to predict vocational self-efficacy scores of a group of children after an intervention aimed at enhancing their vocational self-efficacy; pre-intervention scores will also be employed as a predictor.
The null hypothesis for the current study will be as follows: “The age, type of disability, and pre-intervention scores cannot be used to predict post-intervention scores pertaining to vocational self-efficacy of children with disabilities.”
The alternative hypothesis for the current study will be as follows: “The age, type of disability, and pre-intervention scores can be used to predict post-intervention scores pertaining to vocational self-efficacy of children with disabilities.”
Ali, S. R., McWhirter, E. H., & Chronister, K. M. (2005). Self-efficacy and vocational outcome expectations for adolescents of lower socioeconomic status: A pilot study. Journal of Career Assessment, 13(1), 40-58.
Alivernini, F., & Lucidi, F. (2011). Relationship between social context, self-efficacy, motivation, academic achievement, and intention to drop out of high school: A longitudinal study. The Journal of Educational Research, 104(4), 241-252.
Guan, Y., Deng, H., Sun, J., Wang, Y., Cai, Z., Ye, L.,…Li, Y. (2013). Career adaptability, job search self-efficacy and outcomes: A three-wave investigation among Chinese university graduates. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83(3), 561-570.
Koen, J., Klehe, U. C., & Van Vianen, A. E. (2012). Training career adaptability to facilitate a successful school-to-work transition. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 81(3), 395-408.
Lee, G. K., & Carter, E. W. (2012). Preparing transition‐age students with high‐functioning autism spectrum disorders for meaningful work. Psychology in the Schools, 49(10), 988-1000.
Lindstrom, L., Doren, B., & Miesch, J. (2011). Waging a living: Career development and long-term employment outcomes for young adults with disabilities. Exceptional Children, 77(4), 423-434. Web.
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Lindstrom, L., Harwick, R. M., Poppen, M., & Doren, B. (2012). Gender gaps: Career development for young women with disabilities. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 35(2), 108-117.
Michael, R., Cinamon, R. G., & Most, T. (2015). What shapes adolescents’ future perceptions? The effects of hearing loss, social affiliation, and career self-efficacy. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 20(4), 399-407.
Niehaus, K., Rudasill, K. M., & Adelson, J. L. (2012). Self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, and academic outcomes among Latino middle school students participating in an after-school program. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 34(1), 118-136.
Powers, L. E., Geenen, S., Powers, J., Pommier-Satya, S., Turner, A., Dalton, L. D.,…Swank, P. (2012). My Life: Effects of a longitudinal, randomized study of self-determination enhancement on the transition outcomes of youth in foster care and special education. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(11), 2179-2187.