New Study Shows What Predicts Positive Outcomes for Young Adults

A national online survey by Understood founding partner National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) found that having an or a wasn’t the most important factor in predicting future success. What mattered most was having strong support from parents, a strong connection to friends and community, and a strong sense of self-confidence.

More than 1,200 young adults participated in the national online “Student Voices” survey. It asked about a number of factors, from grades and hobbies to family structure and the services they received.

Students answered a number of questions. They shared how involved they were in conversations about what they would do after high school. They also shared how satisfied they are with their lives.

As part of its research, NCLD found that students were spread out along a band of success. Some were “navigators,” some were “copers” and others were “strugglers.” Navigators had the most positive outcomes after high school. Copers had a mix of positive and not-so-positive outcomes. And strugglers had the least positive outcomes after high school.

The survey found that navigators had positive mindsets. They’ve also had strong support growing up. But those weren’t the only factors impacting student success. Others findings included:

  • Self-advocacy counts.
  • Having a mentor helps.
  • Being connected to the community makes a difference.
  • Early recognition of learning and thinking differences is important.
  • Low expectations and negative messages have an impact.

What can you do to help prepare your child to be a successful navigator?

Learn more about what predicts success for young adults. Visit the Student Voices: A Study of Young Adults With Learning and Thinking Differences report online.

About the author

About the author

Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days.