Publication Date


Degree Granted


Institution Granting Degree

University of Virginia


Research has documented that students with emotional and behavioral disabilities perform more poorly than their peers on nearly every transitional outcome. Literature and research has suggested that self-determination can improve transitional outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of teaching self-determination skills to adolescents with emotional disabilities in a private day school An eight-wee~ self-determination curriculum was implemented for 21 students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Pre- and post-self-determination assessments were given to the students. The 37 items on the pre and post assessments were then examined for all 21 students. Data was also collected on these three student characteristics: age, grade, and reading level of the participants. Nine of the twenty-one students demonstrated knowledge of self-determination skills on the pretest. The posttest revealed that there was very little progress made in gaining knowledge about specific items missed on the pretest. No pattern was observed in terms of self-determination knowledge between prepost change and the three student characteristics. Hopefully, by investigating the self-determination needs of students with emotional and behavioral disabilities, researchers may be able to improve the transitional outcomes and overall quality of life for these students.