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This article examines the impact of multiple individual and ecological factors on the self-determination of students with learning disabilities, mild and moderate mental retardation, and other health impairments. Baseline data from a multistate, longitudinal research project evaluating interventions to promote self-determination were examined using structural education modeling. The findings suggest that teachers viewed students' capacity for self-determination differently based on level of cognitive impairment, but not students' opportunities for self-determination. Capacity, opportunity, and transition empowerment predicted students' self-reported level of self-determination, but the degree to which students were included in general education did not. Significant differences emerged in the pattern of predictive relationships, however, depending on the measure of self-determination utilized. Also discussed are implications for research and practice.


Shogren, K. A., Wehmeyer, M. L., Palmer, S. B., Soukup, J. H., Little, T. D., Garner, N., & Lawrence, M. (2007). Examining individual and ecological predictors of the self-determination of students with disabilities. Exceptional Children, 73(4), 488-509.

Related Institute

Published Date



Intellectual Disabilities
Special Education/Learning Disabilities

Type of Resource

Journal Article/Book Chapter


Special Education Teacher