Mabel Giraldo, Nicole Bianquin, Fabio Sacchi


Transition to adulthood represents the transition to specific adult roles and responsibilities in close connection with life contexts. The literature in this area calls this phase emerging adulthood highlighting its complexity, uncertainty and problematic traits (Arnett, 2004). This process turns out to be more critical for persons with disabilities for whom, even today, the end of school is configured as a "leap into the void" urging for specific planning. The upper secondary school and the local services that act with it therefore play a crucial role in building this transition phase.
This contribution illustrates the outcomes of the exploratory phase of the STrADE project aimed at designing and experimenting a model of transition to adulthood that favors students with disabilities the acquisition of transversal and professional skills from a life plan perspective. For this purpose, the voices of young persons with disabilities and their families were collected through narrative-biographical interviews (Muylaert et al., 2014) and analyzed according to the criteria of thematic analysis (Green, Thorogood, 2004) in order to highlight the main personal/environmental factors characterizing the transition paths of students with disabilities as well as facilitators/barriers that have influenced the construction of their adulthood.


transition; adulthood; disability; narrative-biographical interview; thematic analysis

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)


Arnett JJ (2004). Emerging adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through Twenties. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Atkinson R (2007). The life story interview as a bridge in narrative inquiry. In D.J. Clandinin (Eds), Handbook of narrative inquiry: Mapping a methodology, 224-245. London: Sage Publication

Bianquin N (2020). L’ICF a supporto di percorsi personalizzati lungo l’arco della vita. Lecce: PensaMultimedia

Bindels-de Heus KG, van Staa A, van Vliet I, Ewals FV, Hilberink SR (2013). Transferring young people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities from pediatric to adult medical care:parents' experiences and recommendations. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 51(3), 176-189

Braun V, Clarke V (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative research in psychology, 3(2), 77-101

Butterworth J, Steere DE, Whitney-Thomas J (1997). Using person-centered planning to address personal quality of life. Quality of Life: Application to persons with disabilities, 2, 5-23

Caton S, Kagan C (2007). Comparing transition expectations of young people with moderate learning disabilities with other vulnerable youth and with their non‐disabled counterparts. Disability&Society, 22(5), 473-488

Clements DH, Vinh M, Lim CI, Sarama J (2021). STEM for inclusive excellence and equity. Early Education and Development, 32(1), 148-171

Foley KR, Dyke P, Girdler S, Bourke J, Leonard, H (2012). Young adults with intellectual disability transitioning from school to post-school: A literature review framed within the ICF. Disability and Rehabilitation, 34(20), 1747-1764

Furlong A (Eds). (2009). Handbook of youth and young adulthood: new perspectives and agendas. London: Routledge

Giraldo, M (2020). Verso un’identità autodeterminata. Temi, problemi e prospettive per l’adulto con disabilità intellettiva. Milano: Guerini

Graham CW, Inge KJ, Wehman P, Seward H., Bogenschutz MD (2018). Barriers and facilitators to employment as reported by people with physical disabilities: An across disability type analysis. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 48(2), 207-218

Graneheim B, Lundman B (2004). Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse education today, 24(2), 105-112

Green J, Thorogood N (2004). Analysing qualitative data. In D. Silverman (EDS), Qualitative Methods for Health Research, 173–200. London: Sage Publications

Grigal M, Neubert DA, Moon SM, Graham S (2003). Self-determination for students with disabilities: Views of parents and teachers. Except Children, 70, 97–112

Guest G, MacQueen KM, Namey EE (2012). Introduction to applied thematic analysis. Applied thematic analysis, 3(20), 1-21

Muylaert CJ, Sarubbi V, Gallo PR, Neto MLR, Reis, AOA (2014). Narrative interviews: an important resource in qualitative research. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP, 48, 184-189

Izzo MV, Lamb P (2003). Developing self-determination through career development activities: Implications for vocational rehabilitation counselors. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 19(2), 71-78

Jacobs P, MacMahon K, Quayle E (2018). Transition from school to adult services for young people with severe or profound intellectual disability: A systematic review utilizing framework synthesis. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 31(6), 962-982

Kaehne A, Beyer S (2014). Person‐centred reviews as a mechanism for planning the post‐school transition of young people with intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 58(7), 603-613

Kamruzzaman M, Yigitcanlar T, Yang J, Mohamed MA (2016). Measures of transport-related social exclusion: A critical review of the literature. Sustainability, 8, 696

King GA, Baldwin PJ, Currie M, Evans J (2006). The effectiveness of transition strategies for youth with disabilities. Children&Health Care, 35(2), 155-178

Kirk S (2008). Transitions in the lives of young people with complex healthcare needs. Child: care, health and development, 34(5), 567-575

Kochhar-Bryant CA, Greene G (2009). Pathways to successful transition for youth with disabilities: A developmental process. Merrill/Pearson

Levine M (2005). Ready or not, here life comes. New York: Simon and Schuster

Lindsay S, Cagliostro E, Carafa G (2018). A systematic review of workplace disclosure and accommodation requests among youth and young adults with disabilities. Disability and rehabilitation, 40(25), 2971-2986

McDonnell J, Hardman ML (2009). Successful transition programs: Pathways for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. London: Sage Publications

McIntyre A (2007). Participatory action research. London: Sage Publications

Morgan RL, Reisen T (2016). Promoting successful transition to adulthood for students with disabilities. New York: Guilford Publications

Noel VA, Oulvey E, Drake RE, Bond GR (2017). Barriers to employment for transition-age youth with developmental and psychiatric disabilities. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 44(3), 354-358

Pearson C, Watson N, Gangneux J, Norberg I (2021). Transition to where and to what? Exploring the experiences of transitions to adulthood for young disabled people. Journal of Youth Studies, 24(10), 1291-1307

Pruett SR, Lee EJ, Chan F, Wang MH, Lane FJ, (2008). Dimensionality of the contact with disabled persons scale: Results from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Rehabilitation Counseling, 51(4), 210–221

Punch R, Duncan J (2020). A Model of Targeted Transition Planning for Adolescents who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Deafness & Education International, 1-16

Sevak P, Anand P (2017). The role of workplace accommodations in the employment of people with disabilities. IZA Journal of Labor Policy, 6(1), 1-20

Stewart D, Stavness C, King G, Antle B, Law, M. (2006). A critical appraisal of literature reviews about the transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities. Physical&occupational therapy in

pediatrics, 26(4), 5-24

Test DW, Mazzotti VL, Mustian AL, Fowler CH, Kortering L, Kohler P. (2009). Evidence-based secondary transition predictors for improving postschool outcomes for students with disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32, 160–181

Walther A, du Bois-Reymond M, Biggart A. (2006). Participation in transition: Motivation of young adults in Europe for learning and working. Bristol: Peter Lang

Wehmeyer ML (2005). Self-determination and individuals with severe disabilities: Re-examining meanings and misinterpretations. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 30(3), 113-120



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Giornale Italiano di Educazione alla Salute, Sport e Didattica Inclusiva

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Italian Journal of Health Education, Sports and Inclusive Didactics 
ISSN: 2532-3296