Correlates of Sustained Volunteering: Advocacy for Students with Disabilities

Samantha E. Goldman, Meghan M. Burke, Carolyn Q. Mason, Robert M. Hodapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parents of students with disabilities often receive support from special education advocates, who may be trained through a variety of programs. Using a web-based survey, this study examined the postgraduation advocacy activities of 83 graduates of one such volunteer advocacy training program. In the one to four years after program graduation, 63.8% (53 of 83) of the graduates advocated for one or more families; these sustained advocates reported stable rates of advocacy over time, and advocates performed activities that were either family-focused or school-focused. For graduates who advocated post-training, amounts of advocacy were positively related to satisfaction with advocating and with higher levels of involvement with other advocates and with the broader disability community. Compared to those not advocating after graduating, sustained advocates reported greater advocacy-role identities, increased involvement in disability groups, and higher likelihood to advocate in the upcoming year. Future research and practice implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-53
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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