The Effects of the Texas Statewide Youth Leadership Forum Summer Training Event on the Self-Advocacy Abilities of High School Students with Disabilities
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Self-advocates and professionals in the field agree on the critical importance of providing self-advocacy and leadership training to youth with disabilities. Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) programs have been developed and implemented nationwide to provide a training venue for youth with disabilities to gain self-advocacy and leadership skills. The problem is the lack of empirical evidence validating the effectiveness of self-advocacy training provided through the YLF training format. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of the Texas Statewide Youth Leadership Forum (TXYLF) summer training event on the self-advocacy abilities of high school students with disabilities, and to examine the interaction effect of disability type and gender on the improvement of self-advocacy abilities. To accomplish this purpose, a Non-Equivalent Groups Design (NEGD) was selected and used. The target population for this study was high school youth with disabilities in the state of Texas. The final sample included 68 youth. The TXYLF Pre/Post Questionnaire was the instrument used to measure the participants? self-advocacy abilities. The pretest was administered the week prior to the training event. The posttest was administered to the treatment group immediately following the training event and to the control group in the two weeks following the training event. Descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted to answer the primary and the exploratory questions. The inferential analyses included an ANCOVA and two factorial ANOVAS. Results indicated that the training had a positive effect on the selfadvocacy abilities of the participants. The results of the ANOVAs indicated (a) type of disability did not interact with treatment to affect the self-advocacy abilities of these participants, and (b) gender did not interact with treatment to affect the self-advocacy abilities of these participants. A descriptive and inferential post hoc examination of the treatment group data yielded an interaction by treatment effect for disability type indicating the treatment was more effective for participants with Developmental Disabilities. Future research studies should focus on replication of the current study results and examination of the long term effects of the self-advocacy training for youth with disabilities. In designing these studies, group designs should be considered and used.
Youth Leadership Forum
Grenwelge, Cheryl Hamilton (2010). The Effects of the Texas Statewide Youth Leadership Forum Summer Training Event on the Self-Advocacy Abilities of High School Students with Disabilities. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from