Disadvantagement-related correlates of career optimism among college and university students with disabilities

Mary L. Hennessey, Phillip D. Rumrill, Shawn Fitzgerald, Richard Roessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This paper describes research regarding factors predicting career optimism for a group of postsecondary students with disabilities (N = 208) who were enrolled in seven colleges and universities in four states. Career optimism was defined as a student's self-confidence regarding his or her ability to choose, maintain, and advance in an appropriate career. The proposed model incorporated variables related to employment discrimination and disincentives such as perceived impact of disability on one's education and quality of life, racial/ethnic status, gender, and presence of disability benefits. Results indicated that two aspects of "disadvantagement," specifically severity of perceived impact of disability and racial/ethnic status, were significant predictors of career optimism. Implications of the findings were discussed in terms of informational interventions, curricula, development of self-advocacy and self-determination, and research topics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-492
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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