Understanding the Construct of Self-Determination: Examining the Relationship Between the Arc's Self-Determination Scale and the American Institutes for Research Self-Determination Scale

Karrie A. Shogren, Michael L. Wehmeyer, Susan B. Palmer, Jane Helen Soukup, Todd D. Little, Nancy Garner, Margaret Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since the early 1990s, attention has been focused on the importance of self-determination in the education of students with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to further our understanding of the construct of self-determination by examining the relationship between the Arc's Self-Determination Scale and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) Self-Determination Scale student and educator versions. Using structural equation modeling, we found that the theoretical structure of the Arc's Self-Determination Scale and the AIR Self-Determination–Student Scale was supported by the data, while the proposed theoretical structure of the AIR Self-Determination–Educator Scale was not. The analyses suggested that each of the measures of self-determination was measuring a different aspect of the self-determination construct (i.e., it was not possible to create a higher order factor comprising each of the assessments); thus issues related to the goals of the research and the underlying theoretical perspective of each measure must be considered when determining the most appropriate measure of self-determination in research and practice. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-107
Number of pages14
JournalAssessment for Effective Intervention
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Keywords

  • assessment
  • self-determination
  • special education
  • structural equation modeling
  • students with disabilities

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