Ferrell, Kay Alycin, 1948-
University of Northern Colorado
Type of Resources
Place of Publication
University of Northern Colorado
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) for students who are visually impaired and postschool quality of life (QOL) outcomes. The study was an analysis of an existing dataset collected as part of the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2). Information from wave 1 of the respective teacher, program, and parent surveys was used to gather information related to the ECC areas, and information for the wave 3 parent or youth survey, the most recently available dataset, for only out of school youth was used to gather information related to QOL outcomes. MANOVAs were used to determine if QOL differences in groups, based on those who did and those who did not receive ECC instruction, existed. Each significant MANOVA was followed by a descriptive discriminant analysis to determine which variable or variables were responsible for the significant MANOVA. An all subsets multiple regression was conducted to investigate which combination of ECC areas could best explain or predict postschool outcomes. Finally, a hierarchical regression was completed to determine what role the age of initiation of specialized services played in explaining postschool outcomes. An examination of the results of the MANOVAs found that differences in QOL outcomes existed between the groups of participants. A post-hoc examination of the means of the variables identified by the discriminant analysis to be responsible for the significant MANOVAs revealed that instruction in the ECC areas was associated with lower postschool outcomes. Additional analysis revealed that time spent in the general education classroom may be a confounding variable affecting the results. The results of the multiple regression revealed that a large amount of the variance of postschool outcomes could be explained by the regression models developed. However, it was suggested, based on the results of the lower outcomes means from research question one, the models were explaining diminished outcomes. This was corroborated by the presence of predictors with negative beta values in every model developed. The ECC areas of Independent Living Skills and Self-Determination were identified as important areas of instruction as they had large positive beta values in their respective models across the three outcome domains. Age when specialized services were initiated was not found to explain any additional variance in the outcome domains. The variables used in the regression analysis related to Independent Living and Self-Determination were found to be positive, significant, and relatively strong predictors of postschool outcomes for all three postschool outcome domains. Yet, only 23.4% and 42.4% respectively of participants had this as a primary goal on their Individualized Education Plans. Given the importance of instruction in these two areas for the participants of this study, more time spent learning the skills associated with these two areas by students who are visually impaired is warranted.
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