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Relationships Between Age of Disability Onset, Adaptation to Disability, and Quality of Life Among Older Adults with Physical Disabilities

Title: The Relationships Between Age of Disability Onset, Adaptation to Disability, and Quality of Life Among Older Adults with Physical Disabilities.
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Name(s): Grist, Virginia L., author
Ebener, Deborah J., professor directing dissertation
Vinton, Linda, university representative
Smedema, Susan M., committee member
Edwards, Barbara J., committee member
Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Due to a number of scientific and socioeconomic advances made during the 20th century, older adults with physical disabilities of both early- and late-onset now have the potential to reach average life expectancy. With a considerable body of empirical evidence supporting an inverse relationship between disability and quality of life in older adult populations, research is needed to determine factors that influence the quality of life of older adults with physical disabilities. There are indications in the literature related to quality of life, adaptation to disability, and the sociological approach known as the life course perspective that suggests that quality of life in older adult populations may be different for individuals with disabilities based on: (a) age of disability onset and (b) adaptation to disability. This study utilized a convenience sample of 160 older adult subjects with physical disabilities to answer two research questions: (1) What are the relationships between age of disability onset, adaptation to disability, and quality of life, and (2) Are there differences in quality of life and adaptation to disability between older adults with early-onset and late-onset physical disabilities? Two separate hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to test two specific null hypotheses associated with the first research question: (a) there is no significant association between adaptation to disability and quality of life, and (b) there is no significant moderating effect of age of disability onset on the relationship between adaptation to disability and perceived quality of life. The first null hypothesis was rejected, and it was concluded that a significant positive relationship does exist between adaptation to disability and quality of life. The second null hypothesis was not rejected: Age of disability onset did not moderate the relationship between adaptation to disability and quality of life. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted to test the corresponding null hypothesis for the second research question: There are no significant differences in quality of life or adaptation disability between older adults with early-onset physical disabilities and late-onset physical disabilities. Results showed that participants in the early-onset group had significantly higher adaptation to disability scores than individuals in the late-onset group, but that there were no differences between the groups in terms of quality of life scores. Therefore, this null hypothesis was rejected for adaptation to disability scores but not rejected for quality of life scores. Additional analyses performed for the second research question reveal supported that age of disability onset did not affect the relationship between the adaptation to disability and quality of life scores, a finding from the analyses for the first research question. The results of this research study add further evidence for Bishop's disability centrality model, a quality of life-based model of adaptation to disability that is based on the premise that adaptation to disability and quality of life are similar yet unique constructs. This model appears to offer rehabilitation counselors a means of understanding, measuring, and exploring adaptation to disability with their clients that has significant potential for furthering the understanding of individual differences in the response to disability.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-3953 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2010.
Date of Defense: March 2, 2010.
Keywords: Adaptation To Disability, Quality Of Life, Age Of Onset
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Deborah J. Ebener, Professor Directing Dissertation; Linda Vinton, University Representative; Susan M. Smedema, Committee Member; Barbara J. Edwards, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Educational psychology
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_etd-3953
Owner Institution: FSU

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Grist, V. L. (2010). The Relationships Between Age of Disability Onset, Adaptation to Disability, and Quality of Life Among Older Adults with Physical Disabilities. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_etd-3953