Participation in part-time special education and its correlation with the educational paths, self-concepts and strengths of young adults


  • Kristiina Lappalainen,

  • Hotulainen Risto

Address for correspondence:

Kristiina Lappalainen

Senior Researcher, PhD

Special Education

The Philosophical Faculty

University of Eastern Finland

Tulliportinkatu 1 PO Box 111






This follow-up study, written by Kristiina Lappalainen of the University of Eastern Finland and Hotulainen Risto of the University of Helsinki, investigated whether young adults designated as having part-time special education needs (PtSEN) during their comprehensive schooling had differentiated educational and vocational paths, perceived self-concept, strengths, and self-worth when compared with students not designated as having such needs. Results show that young adults with PtSEN (n = 38) have less academically oriented educational paths than those not having special educational needs (No SEN) (n = 165). The self-perceptions of young adults between the groups under study differ from each other only in the physical appearance domain for the PtSEN group. Strength perceptions showed that those in the PtSEN group consider neither learning nor mathematical skills as their strengths when compared with the No SEN group. In addition, the PtSEN group has higher global self-worth ratings than the No SEN group. According to our comparison, young adults with PtSEN backgrounds perceive deficiencies only in those domains which are directly linked to school.