Academic journal article Journal of Employment Counseling

Effect of Acceptance Expectations on the Employment Development of Individuals with Disabilities: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Applied

Academic journal article Journal of Employment Counseling

Effect of Acceptance Expectations on the Employment Development of Individuals with Disabilities: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Applied

Article excerpt

The author examined what and how factors affect the employment status of Taiwanese college students with disabilities in the 1st year after graduation. The results demonstrated that (a) perceived acceptance by society and the employment market (ASEM) was the major factor affecting the employment status of individuals with disabilities (IWDs); (b) perceived ASEM influenced IWDs' psychological states, attitudes, and life-planning styles, as well as their attitudes and strategies in job searching; and (c) the effect of IWDs' acceptance expectations on their employment development can be explained by the self-fulfilling prophecy.

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In 2006, a survey by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan found that 61.4% of graduates with disabilities obtained a job within 1 year of graduation--a rate considerably lower than the employment rate (83.5%) of graduates without disabilities. Carter et al. (2010) observed that individuals with disabilities (IWDs) had more difficulty finding employment than individuals without disabilities. Many researches have explored the factors influencing the employment development and job performance of IWDs. These factors can be classified into three categories; personal, psychological, and outside.

Studies examining personal factors have focused on understanding how individuals' disability type, disability level, age, gender, and academic achievement influence their employment development and job performance (Carter et al., 2010; Tsai, 2008; Winn & Hay, 2009). In addition to these characteristics, the present study investigated if personal factors contributed to differences in IWDs' employment status. Some studies have explored how psychological factors affect the employment development of IWDs. Winn and Hay (2009) noted that one of the perceived barriers to employment for IWDs is the negative attitudes of their supervisors and coworkers. Draper, Reid, and McMahon (2011) and Roessler, Neath, McMahon, and Rumrill (2007) found that perceived discrimination in the workplace causes IWDs to feel excluded, which, in turn, influences IWDs' expectancy of employment development. In addition, Hopkins (2011) found that IWDs' expectations of entering the employment market are diminished because of their disabilities. These studies concluded that several outside factors cause IWDs to feel helpless or even to retreat from their employment development. It appears that the expectations and psychological states of IWDs often change or diminish while looking for a job.

With regard to outside factors, Roessler et al. (2007) found that one in five employed IWDs reported experiencing discrimination in their efforts to work. Madon, Jussim, and Eccles (1997) noted that prejudice and stereotypes lead IWDs to hold negative expectations far more often than positive expectations. It appears that being discriminated against by society is one of the most influential outside factors for IWDs. The opposite may also be true: being accepted by society might be one of the most influential positive outside factors experienced by IWDs. Therefore, the present study used perceived acceptance by society and the employment market (ASEM) as an index to evaluate IWDs' psychological states and perceptions of the outside world.

According to Devlin (2011), personal values, attitudes, life-planning styles, and survival modes are the factors that directly influence individuals' attitudes and decision making in employment development; these factors are believed to explain why one individual is more likely to be hired than another. In this study, I used the transition needs indicated by IWDs before graduation to evaluate their values, attitudes, life-planning styles, and survival modes. Furthermore, I explored the relationship between participants' perceived ASEM and their psychological states, attitudes, and life-planning styles using their self-identified transition needs.

Wineburg (1987) discussed in detail the effects of the self-fulfilling prophecy on educational research and practice. …

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