The Effects of Parental Knowledge about the Transition Process: Does it Predict Agency Usage and Transition Outcomes?
Duran, Jaime B
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Studies indicate that neither transition meetings nor other parent outreach methods used by schools are preparing parents of students with special needs for the roles they face during transition years and after graduation. Although the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act emphasizes the importance of parental participation in the transition process, parents report that they are not knowledgeable about the transition process or options for post school services. Due to the complex needs of individuals with disabilities and intricate post-school agency systems, parental understanding about the transition process and agency systems is particularly important for parents of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Unfortunately, parental knowledge of the transition process and its effect on agency usage and transition outcomes is not well documented. Therefore, the goal of this study was to understand how parental knowledge of the transition process and human service agencies is related to agency usage and transition outcomes. This study used the Taxonomy for Transition Programming as a guide to develop a questionnaire for parents of children with an intellectual disability who had graduated from a Texas high school. The survey examined parent?s views about transition experiences, agency experiences, transition outcomes, and opinions about the transition process. It was hypothesized that family knowledge about transition and human service agencies that was developed within the transition process would be positively related to agency usage, transition outcomes, and parental opinions about the transition process. In addition, it was hypothesized that agency usage would be positively related to transition outcomes. The results of regression analyses failed to find either statistically significant relationships or noteworthy effect sizes for any component of the transition process with agency usage or transition outcomes. In addition, agency usage did not predict transition outcomes. On the other hand, statistically significant results and noteworthy effect sizes were found for the relationship between the family knowledge of the transition process and parental opinions about the transition process. Future research is needed that builds on the findings of this study in order to establish the effect of parental knowledge on agency usage and transition outcomes.