Predictors of Successful Transition from School to Employment for Youth with Disabilities

Paul Wehman, Adam P. Sima, Jessica McKinney Ketchum, Michael D. West, Fong Chan, Richard Luecking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Objective This study examined data from the second National Longitudinal Transition Study to determine variables associated with post-high school competitive employment, and to develop a logistic regression model for predicting successful employment outcomes. Design A longitudinal survey design. Setting United States. Participants A nationally representative sample (N = 2,900) of special education students who exited high school in the 2002/2003 school year. Main Outcome Measure Any competitive employment during the 6-year study period. Results A number of predictors of competitive employment were confirmed, including high school employment experiences, parental expectations of post-high school employment, arrest record, and school type. The strongest predictors were high school employment experiences and parental expectations of a post-high school employment. Conclusions The current study supports finding of several prior studies and fail to support others, such as the importance of self-determination for adult success. The findings highlight two aspects of the transition process that are critical for success: employment training and work experiences in high school, and high parental expectations for their child’s future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
Pages (from-to)323-334
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 22 2015


  • Employment
  • High school
  • Postschool outcomes
  • Students with disabilities
  • Transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy


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