The Relationship between Adjustment to Disability and Environmental Factors
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between adjustment to disability and environmental factors. This correlational study examined a set of demographic variables including age, gender, years of education, disability type, and area of residence combined with the Measure of the Quality of the Environment (MQE) to predict adjustment to disability measured by the Adjustment to Disability – Revised scale (AD-R).
The population for this study consisted of individuals with disabilities who were enrolled in the public vocational program. One hundred and nine individuals volunteered to participate in this study. Respondents were asked to complete the survey package including: the MQE measure, AD-R scale, and demographic questionnaire to gather data on individuals with disabilities. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to analyze data. Results revealed that there was a statistically significant relationship between adjustment to disability and environmental factors perceived as obstacles (barriers) while taking into consideration a set of demographic variables. After the effects of demographic variables and the facilitator index were held constant, the analysis indicated that the obstacle index explained 7.9% of the variance in the AD-R scale, making a strong and significant contribution to the prediction model. In addition, in this study a set of demographics variables including age, gender, years of education, disability type, and area of residence did not produce a significant prediction equation, meaning that the above demographic variables cannot alone significantly predict adjustment to disability.
Supplemental analyses were conducted to examine and provide more detailed information on the relationships among the variables in this study. Significant associations emerged between the following categories of the MQE: Social support and attitudes, Income, labor, and income stability, Government and public services, and Equal opportunities and political orientation, and following subscales of the AD-R: Transformation, Containment, Enlargement, and Subordination. The Physical environment and accessibility and Technology categories of the MQE were not related to the subscales of the adjustment to disability instrument.
The finding of the current study supports the position that barriers in the environment clearly influence the lives of individuals with disabilities and obstruct the adjustment to disability process (Badley, 1995; Levasseur, Desrosiers, & Noreau, 2004; Noreau, Fougeyrollas, & Boschen, 2002; Pope & Brandt, 1997). Findings suggest that, in general, individuals who perceived fewer obstacles in their environment reported better adjustment to their disability. This highlights the importance of addressing the environment while working with individuals with disabilities and developing strategies to facilitate better a person-environment fit. The research provides demographic data on individuals with disabilities enrolled in the public vocational rehabilitation program in Ohio. A discussion of the pilot study results, survey instruments, hierarchical regression analysis, supplemental analysis, implications of the study and directions for the future research are presented.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:disability adjustment to environment
Date of Publication:01/01/2008