Comparisons With the General Population
The picture of youth with disabilities presented in this report is similar to that of youth in the general population on several dimensions. For example:
- Youth with disabilities and those in the general population are about equally likely to report being cared about by parents and actively turning to them and to siblings or a boyfriend or girlfriend for support.
- The two groups also report similar levels of feeling safe at school and are about equally likely to expect to receive a regular high school diploma.
However, in several respects, youth with disabilities express somewhat more negative views, experiences, or expectations than their general-population peers.
- Youth with disabilities are more likely than youth in the general population to report having daily trouble paying attention, completing their homework, and getting along with teachers and students.
- They also are more likely to have little or no sense of affiliation with school and to report strong disagreement that they enjoy school.
- However, youth with disabilities also are more likely to strongly agree that they enjoy school.
- They are less likely than youth in general to expect to attend or complete postsecondary school.
- Regarding their relationships in general, youth with disabilities are more likely than others to report pervasive feelings of loneliness and of being disliked by others, although a minority of youth with disabilities do so.
- Nonetheless, compared with youth in the general population, those with disabilities are more likely to say they receive "a lot" of attention from their families and to report enjoying life and feeling hopeful about the future most or all of the time.