A Qualitative Study of the Transition to Adulthood for Youth with Physical Disabilities
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The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences, perceptions, and needs of youth with physical disabilities in transition from adolescence to adulthood. Purposeful sampling strategies were used to select 34 study participants who lived in three regions of south-central Ontario, Canada. Data collection methods were individual and focus group interviews, and were guided by a set of open-ended questions. An editing style of analysis sorted the text into codes for description and interpretation. Themes emerged about context, the transition process, needs, and services. Participants identified a poor fit between young persons with disabilities and the adult world they were entering. They recommended that services be focused on environmental supports to enable them to "build their own bridges" to the adult world. Community-based transition services need to be planned in collaboration with youth with disabilities and their parents. Concepts of person-environment fit and health promotion can be incorporated into services to enable young persons with disabilities to experience a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood.
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