Self-Perceived Career Development Needs Of College Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Megan Lee Walters (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
David Koppenhaver

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the self-perceived career development needs of college students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and the approaches those students preferred for career development practitioners to use when supporting them. Although previous studies have examined career development processes of college students with ASD, few have included the perceptions of the students themselves. This study addressed an additional gap in prior studies by seeking students’ opinions on the best approaches for career practitioners to use when working with them on issues of career development. Several major findings emerged from the study. Quantitative analysis of student responses identified functional career thoughts in areas of decision-making confusion, and external conflicts, as well as both functional and dysfunctional career thoughts in commitment anxiety. Additionally, qualitative analysis of student responses revealed specific career development needs in areas of routines and consistency, assistance in coping with the unknown, and managing competing priorities. Three additional themes emerged related to the students’ preferred characteristics in career development professionals: direct communication styles, trusting relationships, and familiarity with, and understanding of, ASD.

Additional Information

Walters, M. (2019). Self-Perceived Career Development Needs Of College Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2019
College students, Autism spectrum disorder, Career development, Career counselor, Perceived needs

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