Development Patterns of Occupational Aspirations in Adolescents With High-Incidence Disabilities

This study analyzed the longitudinal development of occupational aspiration prestige scores over a 12-year period (Grade 8 to 8 years postsecondary) to better understand this aspect of career choice from adolescence into adulthood for people with high-incidence disabilities. A curvilinear trajectory was detected where aspirations increased during high school, but decreased after school completion. The only covariate positively associated with the intercept factor was academic achievement. Higher socioeconomic status was associated with a positive change in the slope of aspirations across the 3 time points before school completion. In adulthood, disability status was the only significant factor associated with aspiration change. Findings are considered with regard to the potential influence of special education services and disability on career development and choice.

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