Murray, A., & Sotardi, V. (2022). Exploring experiences and academic outcomes of first-year university students with and without perceived disabilities or impairments . International Journal of Disability, Development and Education , 69 (5), 1678–1693. https://doi.org/10.1080/1034912X.2020.1811842
Accommodations were not specified; instead, the first-year college experiences of students with perceived disabilities or impairments were examined.
First-year university students (n=1019) at a New Zealand university participated. Students’ ages ranged from 16 to 64 years old, with a median age of 18.64. Participants fell into one of three categories: 1) Students who did not report having a disability; 2) Students who reported having a disability but were not registered with disability services; and C) Students who reported having a disability and were registered with disability services.
A questionnaire was used to assess students’ academic performance, subjective well-being, and academic self-perception during their first year as a university student. Grade point average (GPA) was used to measure academic performance. The World Health Organization’s Well-being Index (WHO5) was used to measure subjective well-being. The Self-Efficacy for Learning and Performance subscale of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) was used to measure academic self-perception. Students reported their disability status, registration status with disability services, and other demographic characteristics. Students also indicated whether they knew where to get help for disability advice and support.
Students with disabilities who were not registered with disability services experienced lower levels of academic performance and of positive experiences compared to their peers who did register with disability services. Similarly, unregistered students performed worse than did students without a reported disability. Unregistered students with disabilities, as well as students without disabilities, showed interest in disability services.